Short readings from the work of imprisoned poet Ashraf Fayadh, presented by Brian Johnstone from Scottish PEN. Although his death sentence has recently been overturned, Fayadh still faces an 8 year prison sentence and 800 lashes. At this event Jo Shapcott and Andrew McMillan will read from Ashraf Fayadh’s poems and Drew Campbell, President of Scottish PEN, will say a few words about the campaign.
PEN International is one of the world’s longest established human rights organisations supporting writers who are imprisoned or otherwise denied the opportunity to read their work.
More on the Fayadh case online here: http://
Brian Johnstone is an esteemed poet and performer with a great reputation both at home in Scotland and on an international scale. He is a founder both of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets and of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, where he was Director from 2001-2010. He is the winner of several prizes, including the Writers’ Bureau Prize, the Mallard Prize, and Poetry at the Fringe.
Jo Shapcott is a two-times winner of the National Poetry Competition, and winner of the Commonwealth Prize (1998). She was also awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2011. Shapcott is nationally recognised for collaborating with musicians to create cross-disciplinary pieces and for translating German poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry.
Andrew McMillan writes deeply personal and confessional poetry that he hopes will resonate with other people. He is the winner of the 2015 Guardian Book Prize (and only the second poet to reach the shortlist), and was shortlisted for the Forward Arts Foundation’s Best First Collection Prize. McMillan is an exciting new talent to watch.