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British Bangladeshi Voices

Tue
29th March 2016 19:30
Rich Mix
35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA
Hybridity and duality looms large over the work of many British Bangladeshi poets, and in keeping with this duality, Poet in the City is proud to present an evening of performance from a multitude of genres, styles and generations.

From work that fuses the lines between education and entertainment to Asian folk tales and mythic stories, we explore the very best in contemporary British Bangladeshi poetry. We’ll be celebrating emerging new voices such as Samilah Naira, whose work is charged with a vital political current, and established voices such as Shamim Azad, Ahsan Akbar and Mir Mahfuz Ali, who have created work of hope and survival through an examination of the past. The event will also bring to light the relationship between Bengali and Bangla poetry, and we are thrilled to be joined by Siddhartha Bose, whose work is infused with the dynamism of modernity.

Join us to celebrate the depth and diversity of British Bangladeshi poetry.

Ahsan Akbar was born in London, and subsequently grew up in Dhaka, before moving back to the UK at 16 on his own. He studied at Exeter, worked as a vinyl record seller, bookseller, and as an equities trader in the City and Southeast Asia. His debut book, The Devil's Thumbprint, is a collection of poems. He is a director of Dhaka Literary Festival and board member of Bengal Lights, Bangladesh's most prominent new English literary journal.

Mir Mahfuz Ali Born in Dhaka in 1958, Ali moved to the UK in the 1970s. He has given readings and performances at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in other theatres in Britain and elsewhere; on BBC Newsnight Review, Radio 4, and the World Service as well as speaking at a number of conferences and festivals, including addressing the Home Office on integration policy. Dhaka, is his first full collection of poetry.

Shamim Azad is a bilingual poet and storyteller. She has been performing since 2002. Her repertoire ranges from Bangladeshi to European folktales. Residencies include Summer University Tower Hamlets, Sunderland City Library & Arts Centre, East Side Arts, The Poetry Society, Magic Me based in Tower Hamlets, Bromley by Bow Centre and Half Moon YPT Theatre. She has published in 13 publications in English and Bangla.

Siddhartha Bose is a poet, playwright, academic and theatre-maker based in Hackney, London. He was born in India and spent seven years in the US. Siddhartha is the author of two poetry collections from Penned in the Margins, and has written and performed three works for theatre: Kalagora (2010), London's Perverted Children (2012) and The Shroud (2014).

Samilah Naira is a spoken word artist studying A Levels at Mulberry School for Girls. She was the 2013 SLAMbassadors UK winner and performs at many high profile events. She is part of the London Global Classroom’s Model United Nations programme and serves the programme as a Chair of committees. She has represented the UK at the Global Classroom’s International MUN Conference at the UN HQ in New York.
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