Belfast Book Festival
Join us for an intimate reading event with Maureen Boyle, Parwana Fayyaz and Rachel Long. We will celebrate an array of recent poetry collections that voice dazzling accumulations of identity in defiance of bias, political turmoil and personal adversity.
Maureen Boyle is the author of three books of poetry. The most recent, The Last Spring of the World was published in June 2022 by Arlen House. She has received various awards including the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize; the Strokestown International Poetry Prize, the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Travel Bursary and the Fish Short Memoir Prize. Her most recent award is from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to research the history of botanical embroidery for an ecological project in poetry. She is a poetry and memoir mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre.
Parwana Fayyaz is a scholar of classical and medieval Persian poetry, poet, translator, and at times photographer. Born in Kabul, she was raised in Pakistan. After finishing high school in Kabul, she enrolled in an English language immersion program and subsequently began her undergraduate studies at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. She transferred to Stanford University and earned both her B.A. in 2015, with a major in Comparative Literature (with Honors) and a minor in Creative Writing (Poetry), and an M.A. in Religious Studies in 2016. She then moved to Cambridge University to pursue a PhD in Persian Studies at Trinity College and took up a Research Fellowship as the Carmen Blacker Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge University in October 2020. Her debut collection, Forty Names, was published in 2021 by Carcanet Press, and it was named New Statesman Book of the Year and White Review Book of the Year. Headshot by Luca Zenobi.
Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions (Picador 2020 / Tin House 2021) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Costa Book Award, The Rathbones Folio Prize, and The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. The US edition of My Darling from the Lions was a New York Times Book Review, and named one of the 100 must-read books of 2021 by TIME. Headshot by Amaal Said.
Shannon Kuta Kelly is a writer, translator, and musician based in Belfast. Her work has appeared in such places as Poetry Ireland Review, the Irish Times, and the London Magazine, and she has collaborated with the Romanian ConTempo String Quartet for events such as the Dublin Enescu Festival and performances in conjunction with the Embassy of Romania in Ireland. She is a doctoral candidate at the Seamus Heaney Centre.