The Language of Home: Anna Selby in conversation with Bejan Matur, Jen Hadfield and Canan Marasligil

Monday 26 June, 7:00 pm8:15 pm |£5 - £7

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What does it mean to write about home? Do landscapes have their own unique vocabularies, and if so how can we ever we share them? How do words travel between languages? And what happens when we ourselves move away?

Poet and editor Anna Selby is joined by three writers whose work reflects on the language of home. Award-winning poet Bejan Matur‘s latest work traces a linguistic journey back to the Kurdish village of her childhood. Jen Hadfield‘s poetry draws on the language of her adopted home in Shetland. And Canan Marasligil explores how languages manifest in urban spaces through her multilingual City in Translation project. All three have recently worked together on a new chapbook of poems by Bejan, in English translations by Jen and Canan, entitled  If this is a lament (published by the Poetry Translation Centre).

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Presented by PEN Atlas and the Poetry Translation Centre.

PEN Atlas is English PEN’s blog publishing weekly dispatches from around the world. Our new series of events presents a lively programme of debate and discourse for an internationally-minded audience.


JeIMG_1597n Hadfield was born in Cheshire and lives in Shetland, whose landscape and natural life persistently informs her work. Her second poetry book Nigh-No-Place (2008, Bloodaxe Books) won the T.S.Eliot Prize in 2008. Her third poetry collection, Byssus, was published by Picador in early 2014. She is currently Writer in Residence at Glasgow University and Glasgow School of Art, supported by Creative Scotland.

sair ve Yazar .(fotograf selahattin sevi 07042005)Bejan Matur is multi-award-winning Kurdish poet and journalist, currently living in London. She is a leading figure in the bold new women’s poetry emerging from the Middle East. Her poetry engages directly with the struggles of her people, and yet there is also a mysticism in her writing, a closeness to nature, an embracing of mythology. Her first collection of poetry, Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar (Winds Howl Through the Mansions, 1996), won several literary prizes. She is the author of four further collections: Tanrı Görmesin Harflerimi (God Must Not See the Letter of My Script, 1999); Ayın Büyüttüğü Oğullar (The Sons Reared by the Moon, 2002) Onun Çölünde (In His Desert, also 2002); and İbrahim’in Beni Terketmesi (How Abraham Abandoned Me, 2008). She has also written prose books and works for the stage.

Canan MarasligilCanan Marasligil is a freelance writer, literary translator, editor and curator based in Amsterdam. She specialises in contemporary Turkish literature as well as in comics. She has worked with cultural organisations across wider Europe and has participated in a range of residencies at the Free Word Centre in London (2013), at WAAW in Senegal (2015), at Copenhagen University (2015) and at La Contre Allée in Lille (2017). She is the creator of ‘City in Translation’, a project exploring languages and translation in urban spaces. www.cityintranslation.com

Anna Selby  is a naturalist, poet and programmer, specialising in international poetry. Her poems often explore our connection with water and the natural world, and she is currently putting together her debut collection. She works as a writer and collaborator in Dance Theatre. Her poetry-dance pieces tour nationally, have been shortlisted for The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and were featured on the BBC Culture Show. She did a Creative Writing Poetry MA at the University of East Anglia, was listed as one of five poets to watch by The Huffington Post, and as a top ten cultural innovator by TimeOut.  In 2012, she organised Poetry Parnassus festival and co-edited The World Record anthology (Bloodaxe).

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