Three Poetry Readings for Writing on the Wall
The reading featured Scottish born artist and writer Alec Finlay, Iraqi writer Samuel Shimon and Bulgarian writer Kapka Kassabova.
Alec Finlay read 4 renga on the Cumbrian part of from sea to sea - renga along Hadrian's Wall, two annual ten day periods dedicated to renga - a travelling festival, following the Wall
from sea to sea - renga along Hadrian's Wall, consisted of a series of renga workshops by Alec Finlay. A total of 8 renga were held. Each renga was led by a master poet and was an opportunity for a group of people to collectively contribute to making a renga poem.
Iraqi writer Samuel Shimon read his specially commissioned short story based on observations of the River Tyne.
This is a dramatic piece about an Assyrian man who comes with the Tigris Ferrymen to be their cook at Arbeia. The cook brings with him many recipes for popular dishes. He gets on very well with both the Ferrymen and everyone else in his own inimitable way - he is a deaf-mute (like Samuel’s father). He gets people singing Assyrian songs. In the story these are written in the Assyrian language and Samuel sang these in the Assyrian for his performance.
Kapka Kassabova introduced herself and her work at this start of her Writing on the Wall international residency. She will spend time researching and visiting Newcastle, Birdsowald and Morseby, where Southern Bulgarian Auxiliaries were originally stationed so that her writing is informed by the historical and modern elements of the Hadrian’s Wall defenses.
Kapka Kassabova is a poet, travel writer and novelist. She was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. Since 1990 she has lived in England, France, Germany and New Zealand. She currently lives in Edinburgh.