Palestinian poet Rafeef Ziadah on UK tour with Poetry Parnassus and Birmingham Poet Laureate Jan Watts
By Iqbal Tamimi
On Wed 4 July, 7pm Birmingham Library Theatre will be hosting a special event with internationally renowned Palestinian poet Rafeef Ziadah and Jan Watts, Birmingham Poet Laureate 2011/2012. This event is part of the national Poetry Parnassus Tour, which celebrates the 2012 Olympics. Poets from each of the 204 nations competing in this year’s Olympics will be either be at London’s Southbank Centre or at one of the key national events.
Jan saw Rafeef, a third-generation Palestinian refugee, at a recent performance and was totally blown away by her and is delighted to be sharing a stage with Rafeef. The event is open to all, so do come along to hear poetry and personal stories from two very talented poets.
Rafeef Ziadah started performing poetry in Toronto in 2004 with the spoken word collective Pueblo Unido and received an Ontario Arts Council Grant from the ‘Word of Mouth’ program to create her debut album Hadeel and she is the winner of the 2007 Mayworks Festival Poetry Face-Off.
Rafeef’s poetry speaks to the struggle of immigrants and the politics of exile. Being Palestinian she reflects on the realities of her homeland today, to which is not allowed to return.
Rafeef’s debut ablum Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names of their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel over Gaza.
Jan Watts commented: “Rafeef is an intense and exquisite performer who speaks her uncompromising words with truth and integrity. I was rocked to my foundations when I saw her perform earlier this year and we are so very grateful to have another opportunity to welcome her back to Birmingham. I feel humble to share the stage with her”.
This is a free event, so please do spread the word (seats to be booked via:
email@example.com / 0121 303 2895)