Teesside University lecturers add diversity to literary festival
Two Teesside University lecturers have curated an evening to celebrate poets of Muslim heritage.
Pictured: (L-R) Rachel Carroll and Rehana Ahmed
Rehana Ahmed and Rachel Carroll, both from the School of Arts & Media, have organised the free event Three British Poets of Muslim Heritage as part of the Middlesbrough Literary Festival.
It will feature the work of poets John Siddique, Moniza Alvi and Shamshad Khan.
Rachel, Principal Lecturer in English studies, said: 'There are a lot of literary festivals around the north east but minority writers are often underrepresented. Middlesbrough has a substantial South Asian community and there is a long history of Muslim migration to the area, so it’s important this is reflected in the festival billing.
'Middlesbrough Literary Festival has been running a few years now and was set up by Teesside English Studies graduate Sara Dennis and the School of Arts & Media has always had an active role in supporting the two week event.'
Rehana, Senior Lecturer in English Studies, added: 'I’ll be chairing the evening with a question and answer session scheduled after each poet. We’re hoping for a lively discussion so that the audience is a big part of the night too. It’s this interactivity which will make the event unique and we really want to focus on engaging the community.
'We are hoping the success of Three British Poets of Muslim Heritage will create a platform that will represent other minority writers in the future.'
Rachel said she is pleased the event is taking place at Middlesbrough Central Library, which has great appeal and is accessible to people interested in arts, literature and different cultures.
She added: 'It’s a great opportunity for people to see the important outreach work Teesside University engages in. We’re hoping for an eclectic audience of all ages and backgrounds, especially people who aspire to be writers, including creative writers at Teesside University.'
Rehana is currently researching British Muslim writers through a fellowship with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is writing a book on the subject.
She said: 'I’m really looking forward to the discussion between the audience and the poets which will feed back into my own research.'
Three British Poets of Muslim Heritage: John Siddique, Moniza Alvi, Shamshad Khan will start at 7.00pm on Thursday 28 June at the Central Library, Middlesbrough. Contact Sara Dennis on 01642 729729 or by email to book a place.
Middlesbrough Literary Festival is currently underway and will run until Saturday 30 June, featuring writing workshops, live music performances and events for children. Further details can be found at www.middlesbroughlitfest.co.uk.
25 June 2012
In the News
Festival features work of writers
Evening Gazette, 27/06/2012, p.5
Two lecturers from Teesside University have curated an evening to celebrate poets of Muslim heritage as part of the two-week Middlesbrough Literary Festival.