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Bachtyar Ali and Ranjit Hoskote at Busboys and Poets

September 29, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

Busboys and Poets

Bachtyar Ali, author of The Last Pomegranate Tree, and translator Kareem Abdulrahman will be joined by Ranjit Hoskote, author of Icelight, at Busboys and Poets to celebrate the launch of their books and discuss the scholarship of languages past and present. The discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.

You can reserve your free ticket on the Busboys and Poets website.

Bachtyar Ali was born in 1966 in Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq. In 1983, he was injured during a student protest against Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party, and the experience inspired him to focus on writing. He received his first prize that year, for his poem “Nishtiman” (“Homeland”). After the revolt of 1991, writers and intellectuals in the Kurdish region of Iraq experienced a surge of creative autonomy. In the intervening years Ali has written over 40 books of fiction, poetry, and criticism, including 12 novels. He has been translated into over seven languages, a renown very few authors writing in the Kurdish language enjoy. In 2017, he was awarded the Nelly Sachs Prize. He is also the recipient of the Sherko Bekas Literature Prize and the HARDI Literature Prize, and in 2005, the Ministry of Culture of Iraqi Kurdistan elected the novel Shari Mosiqare Spiyekan (The City of the Musicians in White) as the best book of the year.

Kareem Abdulrahman is a translator and Kurdish affairs analyst. From 2006 to 2014, he worked as a Kurdish media and political analyst for the BBC, where translation was part of his job. Abdulrahman translated Bachtyar Ali’s I Stared at the Night of the City into English (UK; Periscope; 2016), making it the first Kurdish novel to be translated into English.

Ranjit Hoskote is a poet, essayist and curator based in Bombay. “Icelight” (Wesleyan Press, 2023) is his eighth collection. His translation of a celebrated 14th-century Kashmiri woman saint’s poetry has appeared as “I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded” (Penguin Classics, 2011). Hoskote has been a Fellow of the International Writing Program (IWP), University of Iowa; writer-in-residence at Villa Waldberta, Munich, Theater der Welt, Essen-Mülheim, and the Polish Institute, Berlin; and researcher-in-residence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. His poems have been translated into German, Hindi, Bangla, Irish, Marathi, Swedish, Spanish, and Arabic. Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011) and was co-curator, with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim, of the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008).


September 29, 2023
6:00 pm
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Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St NW
Washington, DC United States