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‘So At One with You’ Anthology Launch at City Hall, London

The Chamber

This special evening celebrates the longstanding partnership between the Poetry Translation Centre and Kayd Somali Arts & Culture by launching So At One with You, an anthology of poems translated by the PTC and Kayd for Somali Week Festival over the last 10 years, including the first translations into English of the greatest Somali poets such as Hadraawi and Gaarriye as well as our visiting artists Dheeg and Weedhsame.

Come and see British poets Anna Selby, Clare Pollard and Will Harris read alongside Somali poets Dheeg, Weedhsame, Asha Lul Mohamed Yusuf and Maxamed Haykal as we celebrate Somali Poetry in the heart of the city of London.

PTC Poets

Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is fast emerging as one of the most outstanding Somali poets. Although she has lived in exile in the UK for twenty years, through recordings, TV and the internet her poems are well-known among Somalis both at home and abroad. Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf is a powerful woman poet in a literary tradition still largely dominated by men. Her collection The Sea-Migrations was named the Poetry Book of the Year 2018 by The Sunday Times.

Xasan Daahir Ismaaciil ‘Weedhsame’ is widely regarded as one of the most promising young Somali poets of his generation. Thanks to his close relationship with leading poet Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye', Weedhsame is steeped in the long and complex history of Somali poetry and, as a notably gifted practitioner, is committed to continuing its traditions. The PTC have publishedhis most famous poem Catastrophe as a dual-language poem-poster, including a dazzling English translation by British poet Daljit Nagra and scholar Martin Orwin.

Maxamuud Maxamed Yaasiin “Dheeg” started reciting songs and poems at the age of 18. In 1967 he joined Radio Mogadishu Band of poets, playwrights, songwriters and music composers in Mogadishu. One of his most famous plays, Advice and Step from 1967, is one of the so called “The Golden Era” of Somali theatre and included many songs which are still admired and treasured by Somali speakers today. He is a member of the House of Elders of Somaliland since 1992.

Will Harris is an Anglo-Indonesian writer, born and based in London. An Assistant Editor at The Rialto and fellow of The Complete Works III, his work is featured in the Bloodaxe anthology Ten: Poets of the New Generation. He is the author of the chapbook of poems, All this is implied (HappenStance, in 2017), and Mixed-Race Superman (Peninsula Press, 2018), an essay. 'SAY' was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018.

Anna Selby is a poet and naturalist. Her poetry often explores our relationship with water and the natural world. She works collaboratively with dancers and choreographers, writes poetic-studies of different species in the field, directly from life, often underwater, and aims for these poems to share a sense of compassion and attentiveness to the environment.

Clare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978 her third collection Look, Clare! Look! (2005), was made a set text on the WJEC A-level syllabus. The Independent named her one of their Top Writers Under 30. She has toured widely with the British Council, including a residency in Beijing, and been involved in numerous translation projects, including co-translating The Sea-Migrations by Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf (Bloodaxe, 2017) which received a PEN Translates award and was named the Poetry Book of the Year 2018 by The Sunday Times.

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