books on street 5

In March 5th 2007, a car bomb was exploded on Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. Al-Mutanabbi Street is in a mixed Shia-Sunni area. More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded. Al-Mutanabbi Street, the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, holds bookstores and outdoor bookstalls, cafes, stationery shops, and even tea and tobacco shops. It has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.
men_00The Lit & Phil  will be hosting an exhibition of hand made books from the al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition collection in the library 5th August – 30th September 2013.  A series of workshops and presentations will accompany the exhibition.

A warm up event to the upcoming exhibition  took place at The Settle Down Cafe, in Newcastle to remember those who died and who were injured.  It was an opportunity to come together and show solidarity.  Thanks to Sheree Mack, Kate Taylor & Alex Lockwood for leading the writing workshops, the readers (see below),The Settle Down Cafe and those who attended.

mutanabbi 3
SHEREE MACK is Writer in Residence at the Lit and Phil
KATE TAYLOR is studying for her MRes Creative Writing at Northumbria and is a Writers’ Cafe session facilitator. Her workshop looks at our relationship with books and is a meditation on the importance of the written word, including its fragility and endurance across time and space.
ALEX LOCKWOOD is Head of Journalism at Sunderland and taking his PHD at Newcastle. Previously he was a world journalist. His workshop will look at the bombings themselves at how they relate to”energy”.

READINGS took place between 7.00pm- 9pm, with an open mike session afterwards, thanks to Denise for her excellent contribution.  Those reading included;

ALLISON DEAN works as an actress and facilitates workshops for people who would not usually engage with creativity. She took a year out to go to Ruskins College to focus on her own writing. She is now getting back into her own creativity.

JESSICA WORTLEY gave up her job last year as a primary school teacher, and took six months off, temporarily escaping the education system.
While away, learning about organic farming on the west coast of canada, she had time to follow her passion for writing. Even though the work on the farms was physically hard, the peace and tranquility of the environment provided mental space as well as inspiration.
This self-enforced break enriched the soul, recharged the batteries and rekindled the ambition to write more often, in more ways, and to take more photos too!
Catherine Graham
Newcastle poet Catherine Graham launches Things I Will Put In My Mother’s Pocket (Indigo Dreams Publishing) Catherine’s chapbook Signs (ID on Tyne Press) was one of The Poetry Kit’s top five recommended books for 2011! Her pride in her working class Tyneside roots illuminate every line in this dazzling debut full collection.

AIDAN CLARKE a darling of the Lit and Phil and spoken word scene. Creator of the Poetry Cafe, which he will be sharing with us tonight. He will let you choose from over 100 poems which he will then recite the chosen one back at you.

KIRSTEN LUKINS is the northeast programme coordinator for Apples & Snakes, supporting performance poets in the North East. She is based at the ARC in Stockton but travel to gigs all over.
She is a poet; performance and page poet when she gets the time.
Caroline Kemp
Still waiting for words

AMINA EVANS the words ‘… like a fish without a bicycle’ spring to mind. Founder of Borderline Books (dot org)
Literary Agent. Translator.
Editor of Kerwin – the Poem (currently in 63 languages)
Presenter: Celestial Navigation
Production team: No Excuse Radio

VALERIE LAWS is a Writer(11 books): see http://www.valerielaws.co.uk/ .Crime novel, THE ROTTING SPOT, now out on Kindle. comedy, LYDIA BENNET’S BLOG also on kindle/smashwords. Available for readings/signings.
New poetry book, All That Lives, events & readings all over UK and in USA. Previous collections included Quantum Sheep, and Moonbathing, both Peterloo Poets.
Also playwright (stage and bbc radio commissions), interested in science/art/lit crossover projects. Yes I spray-painted poetry on live sheep, I am sheep woman! seen on BBCTV with Griff Rhys Jones, making poems with inflatable beach balls.
Performer: my poetry, anywhere and everywhere, on stage or broadcast, at festivals, etc. Funny poems about sex, and/or serious science based work, and much in between.
Current/recent: London Pathology Museum residency funded by Wellcome Trust Arts Award, residency with Newcastle university neuroscientists and neuropathologists . Many residencies worldwide. newest at Dilston Physic Garden, Northumberland.

Valerie Laws, Text Artist and Poet
LYDIA BENNET’S OUT & ABOUT! ‘Lydia Bennet’s Blog: the real story of Pride & Prejudice’, Valerie’s eleventh book and first indie ebook, a comedy Adult/New Adult Austen inversion, told by the shameless modern teenage voice of Lydia Bennet herself. She’s Adrian Mole in a bonnet! 98p from http://amzn.to/



One thought on “An evening of workshops and readings…… to tie in with the Lit and Phil’s exhibition commemorating the 6th anniversary of the Baghdad bookshop bombings.

  1. Pingback: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here | In Residence with the Writer

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