Poets against war! Report back and links

September 15th, 2006 | Posted in Culture, Resistance, Solidarity, War and Terror

Tadamon! Montreal in collaboration with Les Pages Noires Productions organized a major cultural fundraising event in Montreal entitled “Poets Against the War” on August 30th, featuring over 20 poets from around the world voicing the work in solidarity with the people of Lebanon & in opposition to war.

Included in this message is full biographical information on the performing poets & a link to an online video concerning the event….

Poets Against the War took place at Montreal’s pre-eminent independent music venue Casa Del Popolo. Upwards of 150 attended the event initiated by local artist & anarchist Norman Nawrocki. Throughout the evening poetry, music & songs were presented in French, English, Arabic, Persian & Urdu….

Over 1000$ was raised during the evening for the Samidoun coalition in Beirut, Lebanon, which is a grassroots network providing front-line relief work to internally displaced Lebanese refugees. Samidoun initiated the Sanayeh Relief Center in central Beirut at the high of the Israeli attack on Lebanon & provided relief to thousands of refugees fleeing from southern Lebanon & the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Currently Samidoun is participating in the reconstruction process in southern Lebanon while collecting statistical data regarding the social, economic & physiological impact of the Israeli 2006 attack on Lebanon. For more information on Samidoun visit: http://www.samidoun.org

Video presented during Poets against war
View 5 short videos, from independent filmmaker Santiago Bertolino, produced for the Parole Citoyenne project of the National Film Board of Canada.

The various Montreal solidarity actions for the people of Lebanon:

And an interview with the initiator of the Poets Against the War event artist Norman Nawrocki.


Bio Information on Performing Poets:

NOTE: Contact Tadamon! is you are interested in reaching any of the specific poets who performed at the Montreal poetry benefit event for Samidoun….

Valerie Khayat:
Lebanese/Italian Montrealer Valerie has long cultivated a love for words and an interest in social causes. Four years ago, her poetry led her to songwriting and she has been active on the Montreal music scene ever since performing at events. She is currently working on a chapbook of poetry and an EP of original compositions both to be released in the upcoming year. Info at: http://www.myspace.com/valeriekhayat

Salah Benlabed:
Coauthor with Danièle Ouanès of ‘Quand la Terre tremble’ (Centre culturel algérien), Salah has lived in Canada since 1994 & originates from Algeria where he was an architect & teacher. Salah’s first novel will be published next September. Read a poem online at: http://www.poetescontrelaguerre.com/SalahBenlabed.html

Zein Elabdin Fouad:
Born in Cairo in 1942, Zein has authored 7 books of poetry & 8 books concerning children’s art. Zein has participated in many international poetry festival, including in the Arab World, Africa, Europe, North America & Latin America. In 1982 Zein al Abdin was in Beirut writing songs concerning the Israeli invasion.

Danièle Ouanès:
Born in France, Danièle is a poet & professional translator who has written multiple books including, Chronique de Ramallah, Chronique d’une terre aliénée, Arabesques méditerranéennes, L’Harmattan. Since 2002, she has participated in many literary events, lectures & frequents the Salon du livre de Montreal & the Festival du monde Arabe.

Robert Silverman:
72 years old activist & poet best known as co-founder of the bicycle advocacy organization “Le Monde à Bicyclette”, in 1975 which resulted eventually in Montreal becoming more bicycle friendly in 1997. In the outbreak of the 2nd Intifada in 2000, Silverman became a vocal & passionate advocate of Palestinian human rights & a harsh critic of Israel founding the Jewish Alliance Against the Occupation in September 2000. http://www.cam.org/~rsilver

Fortner Anderson:
A well know local poet & mainstay on the spoken-word scene since the 1980’s. Anderson’s audio poems can be found on 2 solo CD’s “Sometimes I Think” & “Six Silk Purses”. His work has been published in Poetry Nation [Vehicule Press, 1998] & Short Fuse Anthology [Rattapallax, 2002]. Anderson has performed his work in Canada, the United States & Europe, while being a radio host on CKUT Radio Montreal. http://www.fortneranderson.com

Claude Maheu:
Musician, multi-instrumentalist, Maheu plays classical, jazz & music actual. Playing 90 instruments, Maheu has collaborated with musicians, dancers and poets from Montreal & elsewhere. Played in multiple festival including, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal & the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Also Maheu has recorded multiple times for CBC.

Bahman Sadighi:
An Iranian poet, who has published 3 books of Persian poetry, teaches French literature & also works as a translator.

Hossein Sharang:
Iranian poet born in Jiroft, Iran. Hossein has lived in Montreal since 1983 & his poems have been published in many newspaper in Iran, Canada, the U.S., Germany, Sweden & the U.K.

Trish Sala:
Montreal-based writer & doctoral candidate in English at York University. Trish, who is half-Lebanese currently teaches at Simone de Beauvoir Institute & Sociology at Bishop’s University. Former editor of FUSE magazine & her first book of poetry “Wanting in Arabic” was published by TSAR in 2002. Trish works on social justice issues concerning Palestinian solidarity, transsexual, transgender & sex workers rights.

Norman Nawrocki:
An internationally acclaimed, Montreal-based sex comedian/educator, cabaret artist, musician, author, actor, producer & composer. Norman has played or co-founded many bands like Rhythm Activism, DaZoque!, Bakunin’s Bum & the Flaming Perogies. Since 1985, Norman has worked in the arts, recording over 50 albums & penned 5 poetry / fiction books, including his last book published in 2005: “the Anarchist & the Devil Do Cabaret”. http://www.nothingness.org/music/rhythm

Hisham Elsalfiti:
A Palestinian poet, who’s father comes from Salfit in the West Bank & his mother from Safad in the Galilee. Hisham is a recovering Engineer & a recent McGill MBA graduate. An amateur of Arabic poetry & fan of the great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.

Vince Tinguely:
A Montreal write & performance poet, co-author of Impure – Reinventing the Word, a book about the Montreal spoken-word scene. Tinguely is a regular writer for the Montreal Mirror, who has published a three chapbook set, “Sex, Power, Myth”, a mini-CD “Flying Under the Radar”, a novella “Final Trainwreck of a Lost-Mind Summer. Vince co-hosts a music show, Victorious & Invincible every Tuesday, 12-2pm on CKUT 90.3fm. http://www.randomgeneration.blogspot.com

Geneviève Letarte:
Author of 4 novels including, Souvent la nuit tu te reveilles & Les Vertiges, while also recording 2 music CD’s. Participant in many cultural events in Quebec, Canada, France, Mexico & Cuba. Recently, Geneviève translated & presented some Virginia Woolf original texts.

Ray Shankman:
Currently teaches at Vanier College. Poetic work aims to be relevant to issues of social justice, personal transformation & human rights. Founding member of Shalom/Salam, a dialogue group, emphasizing double empathy between Jews & Arabs.

Yasser Shoukry:
An Egyptian social justice activist who for over 20 years has been involved in struggles against dictatorship, corruption & imperialism in Egypt & the Middle East. Yasser is also a musician & singer.

Meissoon Azzaria:
Social activist involved with Voice of Conscience for over 5 years in an effort to struggle against military occupation in Iraq & war crimes committee by occupying forces. Meissoon originates from Iraqi, Armenian & Quebecois origin & writes poetry while also producing video works.

Anna Fuerstenberg:
Writer, director, actor who was born in a refugee camp & came to Montreal as a child. Anna has written, directed & performed in theatre & film for many decades. www.montrealserai.com/2001_Volume_14/14_2/Article_8.htm

Ehab Lotayef:
Photographer who also writes plays, essays & political commentaries while poetry remains his true passion. Ehab wrote in Arabic since a very young age and still does, and for many years now writes in English. Published in many anthologies & magazines and is well know on the Montreal poetry scene. http://www.ece.mcgill.ca/~ehab

Stephan Anjum:
Writer & singer originally from Pakistan who poetry has been published in anthologies & recorded in various albums in Pakistan. Former professor of mathematics who writes “guzzles”, a type of Urdu poetry which “puts the while ocean in one small ball”.

Hassan el-Hadi:
An accomplished composer, songwriter & singer as well as an impressive Oud player originally from Marrakesh Morocco, where all the diversity of Moroccan music merges. Founder of the Hassan el-Hadi group since his arrival in Quebec which has become well known in the Montreal area. http://www.hassanelhadi.net

Maya Khankhoje:
A Mexican-Canadian poet, story writer, essayist of Indian & Belgian origin. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals & the following anthologies: Writing the Sacred, Aurat Durbar, So Long Been Dreaming, Her Mother’s Ashes & Voices and Echoes. http://thinkers.net/poet/mayakhankhoje.html

1 Comment »

Please keep up the good work

Comment by Steve Barghouthi — September 23rd, 2006 @ 11:20 PM

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