City to City – Glasgow, Scotland

Leading lights of Lahore’s poetry and music scene along with contemporaries from Glasgow are united on stage for a unique evening of readings and music.  They will share newly translated poems and musical collaborations which reflect the role that art plays in creating bridges between cultures.

Featuring: Afshan Sajjad, Jim Carruth, Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan, Katherine Sowerby, Kishwar Naheed, Gerry Cambridge, Ali Akbar Natiq, Vicki Husband reading new translations and music from Sara Kazmi & Sarah Hayes who will play together for the first time.

Glasgow Event – 21 May, 6pm, Mitchell Theatre

London Event – 23 May, 2.30pm, Southbank Centre, Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall


About the Artists:

Gerry Cambridge

GerryCambridgePhoto1Gerry Cambridge is a poet, essayist, editor and sometime-harmonica player with substantial interest in print design and typography as well as a background in natural history photography. His publications include Notes for Lighting a Fire (HappenStance Press, 2012) Aves (Essence Press, 2007; reprinted 2008), a collection of prose poems about wild birds; Madame Fi Fi’s Farewell and Other Poems (Luath, 2003); and ‘Nothing but Heather!’: Scottish Nature in Poems, Photographs and Prose (Luath, 1999; 2nd edition, 2008). Seamus Heaney wrote, of his long poem ‘Blue Sky, Green Grass’, winner of The Calum Macdonald Memorial Award in 2004: “it’s a wonderful paean, and allows in so much that the usual poem keeps out—sheer, archaic joy: hymns to light, praise of the creatures, tales of the usual, names of the people and the places”. Of his latest collection, Notes for Lighting a Fire, the Times Literary Supplement wrote, “[Cambridge]’s poems are, in the main, immediate, but the best of them—many more than a handful—have a brand of slow, ruminative wisdom that sets him apart from most of his contemporaries. His poetry has something of Robert Frost’s tone and seriousness, but rings with a deeply personal Scottish resonance all its own.”

Kishwar NaheedKishwar Naheed

Kishwar Naheed is a prolific feminist poet of national and international repute. She is a publicist, columnist, media personality, and a writer who has written scripts, documentaries, and poetry. She is renowned for her powerful verses as well as her sometimes controversial views. Naheed’s poems have an openness, each reading offering a palette of possibilities. She has been a recipient of numerous prestigious awards including Government’s civil award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2000, and was one of the 1000 women nominated world-wide for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Vicki HusbandVicki Husband

Vicki Husband studied Fine Art before later training as an Occuptional Therapist; she now works for the NHS. Vicki’s poems have been widely published in literary magazines, in a anthology of new Scottish poetry: Be The First To Like This, and have won prizes in the Mslexia poetry competition, the Edwin Morgan International poetry prize and The Pighog/Poetry School pamphlet prize.Vicki runs a bi-monthly poetry book group and is a member of St. Mungo’s Mirrorball – a network of Glasgow poets.


Ali Akbar Natiq pic2

Ali Akbar Natiq is a powerful new voice from Pakistan. A poet, novelist, critic and mason who writing takes the reader through the villages and small towns of his Punjab — its land, its rivers, its people as well as its violence, its madness, its floods. His novel and various stories have been translated into English and has been named one of Granta’s new voices.

Jim Carruth

Jim CarruthJim Carruth was born in 1963 in Johnstone, Renfrewshire and grew up on his family’s farm near Kilbarchan, Scotland. He has had six well-received pamphlet collections of poetry since his first, Bovine Pastoral in 2004. He has won both the James McCash Poetry Competition and McLellan Poetry Prize and was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2009. In 2005 he was one of the founders of St Mungo’s Mirrorball, the network of Glasgow poets which he chairs. He is also the current artistic adviser for Stanza – Scotland’s International Poetry festival. He has been involved in many poetry projects, including editing an anthology for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and having  his words etched in stone as part of Andy Scott’s Kelpies Sculpture. He was appointed Glasgow Poet Laureate in July 2014 in succession to Liz Lochhead and Edwin Morgan. His most recent collection was Prodigal which was published by Mariscat in 2014.

Afshan Sajjad Afshan Sajjad

Afshan Sajjad is an educator and poet. She is the Head of the Urdu Department at Lahore American School. She has widely published her poetry in Urdu magazines, and is the author of an Urdu poetry book by the name of ‘Jo Dil Pe Guzarti Hai.’ She has also served as a judge of poetry recitation competitions, participated in various Mushaayeras and has written Urdu songs as well as scripts for some plays in school. She holds a masters degree in Urdu from Punjab University, Lahore.


Kathrine Sowerby

kathrine_Kathrine Sowerby is a Glasgow based poet with a background in fine art. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art’s MFA programme and Glasgow University’s MLitt in Creative Writing, her poems and translations have most recently been published in Gutter, Northwords Now, New Writing Scotland, Poetry Salzburg Review, Aesthetica,Yonder Awa, A Bird is not a Stone and online at Anomalous Press and her book length poem Unnecessarily Emphatic was transcribed for theatre and performed in New York. She has been a runner up in the Edwin Morgan and the Wigtown Poetry Competitions and received a 2012/13 New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust. Kathrine co-runs Tell It Slant, Glasgow’s poetry bookshop, and curates and makes Fourfold, a pocket-sized publication.

Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan

DrDr Khalid Javaid Jan is a writer and documentary filmmaker who was born in Lahore. He is the author of five books of poetry and fifteen books on medical and political subjects. He also writes a column on political and social issues in the largest Urdu-language newspaper — The Daily Jang. His book Main Baghi Hoon was translated into Hindi, Punjabi and Manipuri languages. A graduate of Rawalpindi Medical College, with a degree in law and a masters degree in political science and Urdu literature, he was a known student leader, political activist and poet. His poetry took a turn when the military dictator, Gen. Zia Ul Haq, imposed martial law in Pakistan in 1977.  At the time, when Zia hanged the elected Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Dr. Jan wrote his best known poem Main Baghi Hoon (I am a rebel). This soon became a poem of resistance against oppression and social evils. As a result he was imprisoned and tortured by the military regime, with his arm and leg broken. This poem is still widely read among students, labourers and political activists.

Sarah Hayes 72dpi-38CWSarah Hayes

Sarah Hayes is a singer and flute player from Northumberland. She moved to Glasgow in 2005, where she leads a varied musical life, performing and teaching across a range of settings. Sarah plays in three classical chamber groups and folk trio Wildings, and is also a member of indie-pop band Admiral Fallow, who have toured the UK, Europe, USA and Australia, and released two albums to critical acclaim.  Her Celtic Connections New Voices commission, Woven, premiered at the festival in January 2014 and earned a five star review in the Scotsman newspaper.  A studio recording of Woven is due for release in autumn 2015.

Sara Kazmi

Sara KazmiSara Kazmi lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. She has been involved intensively with the Sangat since the past four years, which is an independent group of artists, writers and musicians who are engaged in reading and revisiting the Punjab’s literary, musical and theatrical traditions. Sara is also a student of Indian classical music, blending ragas with folk tunes in her renditions of classical and contemporary Punjabi poetry.