Tag: poetry

We are pleased to announced the launch of our new publication Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project.

Download a PDF version of the book: Tomorrow Will Shine

Edited by Hamdan Dammag, Taher Qassim and Deryn Rees-Jones, the book brings together poems written by 20 Yemeni poets as part of the ongoing Yemen in Conflict project.

The poems were written in response to a series of creative writing workshops for the project co-ordinated by the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival between 2019 – 2021. The project was prompted by work done in association with the Universities of Liverpool and Leeds, and funded initially by the British Academy, and later Arts Council England.

Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project
Edited by Hamdan Dammag, Taher Qassim and Deryn Rees-Jones
Printed by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival
72 pages
ISBN: 978-1-3999-2917-2
Cover (pictured above)       

Poets included in the book:

Maliha Al-Assadi
Abdel Hakim Al-Qazi
Yousef Alshamiri
Haneen Ali
Maysoon Aleryani
Ahmed Alkholaidi
Salim Alshaayee
Ali Alsowrqi
Khaled Alshameri
Belqis Mohammed Alwan
Amina Atiq
Hamdan Dammag
Shadia Mohamed Hamood
Saba Hamza
Rasheed Nagi
Abdulkader Sabri
Sara Rahman
Janet Watson
Amerah Saleh
Ahmed Zaabar

Order Tomorrow Will Shine: Poems of War and Hope from the “Yemen in Conflict” Project.

Please note that book orders are processed and posted in the first week of each month. We will email to confirm once your book has been posted. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to post books to Yemen.

A Day in the Life – Arabic
A Day in the Life consent form – Arabic

If you’re an aspiring writer of Arab heritage, you need to know about a new international poetry and short story competition – with £1,000 worth of prizes to be won.  

The A Day in the Life competition is being launched by Liverpool Hope University in conjunction with Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

Entrants of Arab heritage, under the age of 21, are being invited to submit either a poem, short story or video clip which shines a light on an aspect, either positive or negative, of their life in the Liverpool City Region.

It could be related to school, work, community or leisure time, and should give a snapshot of a typical 24 hours in the person’s life.

Applicants can use whatever medium they’d like – whether it’s written word, short video, a rap or a link to their TikTok or any other social media clip.

Both the Palestinian Writers Union and the Jordanian Writers Society are also hosting their own A Day in the Life competitions in their native countries, and delegates from each will Zoom-in to a special winners’ ceremony held in Liverpool in July during this year’s Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

Professor Michael Lavalette, Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Hope, said: “This is a great opportunity for aspiring young writers and creative thinkers. What we really want to see are poems or short stories that really offer a window into someone’s lived experience. There are no restrictions as to what you might address – this is about how you interpret a day in your own life. Applicants can use a variety of mediums to capture their thoughts, whether it’s a written poem or short story, or whether you turn those ideas into a video or social media snippet. For me, the cross-national element of the competition is really exciting. Both Liverpool Hope University and LAAF are committed to fostering links between communities, and we hope this is a way to build further bridges. Of course the prize money isn’t bad, either!”

Afrah Qassim, Chair of LAAF, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Liverpool Hope University on this great initiative. Our 2022 festival theme is points of connection between cultures and this project encapsulates this wonderfully. From writing to video and audio clips, we can’t wait to see the creative responses in this cross-national competition.”

There will be two categories for applicants in Liverpool:

  1. 16 years and under
  2. 17 to 21 years

Prizes are as follows: 1st: £250 2nd: £150 3rd: £100.

The UK competition will be judged by experts from Hope and Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and its community partners, with the winner announced during the organisation’s big summer spectacular on Wednesday July 13th.

One of those judges will be the award-winning poet Dr Eleanor Rees, who is also Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Hope.

Among the panel of judges from LAAF are prize-winning Yemeni novelist Hamdan Dammag and Amina Atiq, a Yemeni- Scouse poet, performance artist, creative practitioner and award-winning community activist.

The big reveal will take place at Liverpool Hope University’s Great Hall, located at the city centre Creative Campus, on Wednesday July 13th, as part of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.

Founded in 1998, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is the UK’s longest-running annual Arab arts and culture festival, platforming the best UK and international Arab artists.  The festival creates a dynamic between traditional and contemporary Arab artforms, encouraging informed debate that explores, and increases, appreciation of Arab people and their rich cultures. Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s work continues throughout the year, with a wide range of events and participatory projects that bring together artists and diverse communities. From Liverpool to the Arab world, LAAF builds connections that help more people to encounter and experience Arab culture in Liverpool and beyond. The year-round programme of artistic and cultural events includes Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, which runs this year from Thursday 7 – Sunday 17 July 2022. Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Murad Sudani, General Secretary of the Palestinian Writers Union, said of the A Day in the Life initiative: “This competition is a great opportunity for young people in Palestine, Jordan and Liverpool to learn from each other and about each other’s lives. It is the first, but hopefully not the last, shared competition between students in our countries.”

Meanwhile the Jordanian Writers Society is chaired by Muhammed Khudair, a celebrated and multi award-winning poet.


Terms and conditions

The competition is open to those of Arab heritage either living in the Liverpool City Region (as well as separately in Palestine and Jordan). 

Any video-based submissions must be either one minute in duration, or less. 

Any written submissions must be of a maximum permitted 500 words in length. 

Categories for applicants are as follows:

1) 16 years and under

2) 17 to 21 years

Prizes are as follows, for each age group: 1st: £250 2nd: £150 3rd: £100.

Full details can be found at https://www.hope.ac.uk/socialsciences/adayinthelifecompetition

To submit your application by emailing adayinthelife@hope.ac.uk.

Please include a filled-in Competition Consent Form, which can be found at: https://www.hope.ac.uk/socialsciences/adayinthelifecompetition

Please also include contact details for either yourself or your legal guardian.

The closing date for submissions for applicants from Liverpool is midnight Friday June 17th. 

10 finalists from each entry category will be invited with their families to the event on Wednesday July 13th during Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2022.

Winners will be announced on the day of the event – if you can’t be there on the day, please nominate someone to collect the award for you.

Prize money will be awarded either via bank transfer or cheque, or, if the applicant is claiming asylum, via a gift card.

Illustrated view from a bridge in Cairo. It is summer and there are palm trees in the foreground and pyramids in the background.

This film-poem is an invitation to reflect on the situation in Yemen, which is currently known as the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world”. Not much work is being done in Yemen regarding climate change, and especially the threat posed by the floating oil storage vessel, FSO Safer, in the Red Sea. The tanker is likely to explode or sink according to experts, which will cause an environmental disaster that is difficult to contain. This will affect the lives of many, not only in Yemen but also in other countries. However, it seems that the world is still in denial since the danger is invisible to many, and there is no interest in looking beyond the self or diving to explore the unseen.

Photo of Saba HamzaSaba Hamzah (@Saba_Hamzah) is a Yemeni poet-scholar, writer, and educator. She received her master’s degree in Gender Studies from Utrecht University. Saba’s main devices are line and light and the moments in between. Her work questions power structures of societies at large using art and literary interventions as tools for social mediation and transformation. Her scholarship activates silences in living archives of women in the conditions of diaspora and exile.


Photo of Dana Dajani

“Origin Story” is a spoken word poem which reframes our current moment in history as part of the creation tale of the next generation of heroes: young climate justice activists who will lead the monumental task of transitioning our world from the industrial growth society into a life-sustaining living system.

Photo of Dana DajaniDana Dajani is a Palestinian-American actress, poet, and humanitarian. Known for her theatrical style of spoken word poetry centered on social justice, Dana has been invited to perform around the world, including at the Sydney Opera House and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Previously based in the UAE (2011-2018), Dana was honored for her contributions to the creative community, as well as her bilingual performances on screen and on stage, with Emirates Woman “Artist of the Year” award, the “Young Arab Award for Entertainment”, and others. She currently lives between Amman, Jordan, and London, UK with her husband and collaborator, Rami Kanso.

Connect online at www.danadajani.com

Instagram @danadajani.poetry

Photo of Farah Gabdon

(Click on the poem above to continue reading)


Written in reaction to the drought crisis that has plagued my home country on and off for the past 10 years, I was moved by the images coming out of Somalia and left feeling frustrated with the world’s silence and inaction in the face of climate change.

Photo of Farah Gabdon

Farah Gabdon is a performance poet, writer and English teacher from London, by way of Somalia. With a degree in Creative Writing, she has captivated audiences with her writing and performance poetry across London and Europe.




Continue exploring the anthology

Photo of K. Eltinae

Photo of K. Eltinae
Photo: Mario Pardo Segovia

K. Eltinaé is a Sudanese poet of Nubian descent, raised internationally as a third culture kid. His work has been translated into Arabic, Greek, Farsi, and Spanish and has appeared in World Literature Today, The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human: Many Muslim Worlds (Penguin), The African American Review, Muftah, among others. He is the winner of The 2019 Beverly Prize for International Literature (Eyewear Publishing) and Muftah´s Creative Writing Competition At Home in the World and the recipient of the Visionary Arts Memorial Reza Abdoh Poetry Prize 2021, He is also co-winner of the 2019 Dignity Not Detention Prize (Poetry International). He currently resides in Granada, Spain. His debut collection The Moral Judgement of Butterflies is forthcoming this spring from Black Spring Press. More of his work can be found at: https://www.instagram.com/k.eltinae.


Continue exploring the anthology

As part of the Yemen in Conflict project, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) in partnership with Writing on the Wall brought together four Yemeni female poets, from the UK and Yemen, to explore the conflict through a female poet lens.

Yemeni Female Poetry Book – Read the poems performed here

Yemen in Conflict is an ongoing project between LAAF, the University of Liverpool and the University of Leeds. The project has involved people who are passionate about Yemen, its poetry and spoken word. Through several workshops that took place throughout the UK and Yemeni community, a series of commissioned poem films and a documentary film, the project was designed to inform people globally about Yemen and its conflict through poetry and art.

At this digital event, the four poets had an opportunity to share their poetry and experiences and to listen to each other in front of a live audience.

Each of the four poets read two of her favourite poems that she has created about the conflict in Yemen. The event will be moderated by a Yemeni female in the UK so that she can direct questions from the audience to the relevant poet either in Yemen or the UK. At the end of the event there will be a Q&A session.

Artist Biographies

Amerah Saleh is a spoken word artist born and bred from Birmingham. Her Muslim Yemeni roots give her space to get lost and found on multiple occasions between identity. She is the Co-Founder of Verve Poetry Press and a General Manager at Beatfreeks. Amerah has performed all around Europe and has released her first collection called “I Am Not From Here” in April 2018. Her work touches on identity, womanhood, religion and the obscure idea of belonging only to one place

Amina Atiq is a Yemeni-scouse published poet, award-winning community activist and performance artist. A BBC Words First 2019 Finalist and Young Associate for Curious Minds. Poet in Residence for Queensland Poetry Festival 2020-21 and Metal Southend. She is currently writing her solo show, Broken Biscuits to explore her grandmothers 1970s Yemeni-British household. In 2020, she produced a short documentary, Unheard Voices, commissioned by DadaFest capturing the stories of Yemeni shopkeepers in Liverpool. Unheard Voices was later broadcasted on Belgees TV and translated in Arabic.She is working on a new online and print project, Scouse Pilgrimage commissioned by Unity Theatre. Upcoming publications found at Sutton Manor, Speaking Volumes and Cordite Poetry Review.

Maliha Al-Asaadi is a poet and writer in Sana’a, Yemen. She is the Executive Director of the Wujoh Foundation, a not for profit organisation working for peace in Yemen. She is also President of the Salam Foundation for Humanitarian Response and Development. Her publications include: “A woman’s identity” (2006), “Windows of silence” (2009) and “So the clouds told me” (2020).

Maysoon Aleryani is an award-winning poet and journalist from Yemen. She was born in Sana’a. Her publications include “Tricks” (2016), “The Mysterious side of paradise” (2013), “Madad” (2010), “I’ll Penetrate the Sky” (2009).  Her awards include “Tulliola- Renato Filippelli” Poetry prize, Italy (2021), “Al-Maqaleh prize for Arabic literature – poetry” (2013). She holds the title of poetry in the Arab World (2010) through a referendum by Poets without borders league and the “President’s Prize for Young Poets” (2009)


Nawal Al-Maghafi is an award-winning BBC Special Correspondent. She has been reporting on the Middle East since 2012. Over the past six years, she has been one of the few journalists conducting firsthand reporting of the ongoing conflict in Yemen; travelling extensively throughout the country.

الشعر النسوي اليمني:

الأربعاء 19 مايو 2021 (3 – 4:30 بعد الظهر بتوقيت المملكة المتحدة، 5 – 6:30 بتوقيت اليمن) 

المتابعة عبرالانترنت (زوم)

ضمن مشروع “الصراع في اليمن” يقدم مهرجان ليفربول للفنون والثقافة العربية أربع شاعرات يمنيات من المملكة المتحدة واليمن لاستطلاع الصراع بعيون نسوية.

يعتبر مشروع “الصراع في اليمن” مشروعاً مستمراً بين مهرجان ليفربول للفنون والثقافة العربية وكل من جامعتي ليدز وليفربول. عمل المشروع على إشراك العديد من المهتمين باليمن، الشعر اليمني والكلمة المحكية. قام المشروع بالتعريف باليمن والصراع الدائر فيه على مستوى العالم من خلال الشعر والفن، وأقام عدداً من ورشات العمل في جميع أرجاء المملكة المتحدة ومع الجالية اليمنية، بالإضافة الى سلسلة من الأفلام الشعرية وفيلماً وثائقياً.  


سيتاح للشاعرات الأربع فرصة مشاركة اشعارهن وتجاربهن، والاستماع لبعضهن البعض أمام الجمهور مباشرة. 

ستقوم كل شاعرة بقراءة قصيدتين من قصائدها المفضلة التي كتبتها حول الصراع في اليمن. ستدار الفعالية من قبل سيدة يمنية مقيمة في المملكة المتحدة وذلك لتوجيه الأسئلة من الجمهور الى الشاعرات سواء في اليمن أو في المملكة المتحدة. وستعقد جلسة أسئلة وأجوبة في نهاية الفعالية.

نبذة عن الشاعرات المشاركات: 

أميرة صالح: فنانة في الكلمة المحكية، ولدت وترعرعت في بيرمنغهام. منحتها جذورها اليمنية والأسلامية مساحة للفقد والعثورعلى الهوية مرات متعددة. شاركت في تأسيس “فيرف بوتري بريس”، كما تشغل منصب مديرعام في “بيتفريكس”. جالت أميرة بشعرها في كافة أرجاء أوروبا، كما نشرت مجموعتها الأولى “أنا لست من هنا” إبريل 2018. يتطرق شعر أميرة الى قضايا الهوية، الأنوثة، الدين، وضبابية الانتماء إلى مكان واحد.

آمنة عتيق: شاعرة يمنية من ليفربول، تكتب أشعارها بلهجة مدينة ليفربول. حاصلة على جوائز كناشطة اجتماعية وفنانة استعراضية. آمنة وصلت الى المراكز النهائية في (BBC, Words First ) وهي مساعدة شابه (Young Associate) لمنظمة  Curious Minds

كما أنها شاعرة مقيمة لمهرجان (Queensland Poetry) للأعوام 2020 -2021 ومهرجان (Metal Southend). تقوم آمنة بكتابة عرضها الانفرادي Broken Biscuits لاستطلاع أوضاع الجدات اليمنيات في العائلات البريطانية اليمنية في أعوام السبعينيات. في عام 2020 أنتجت آمنة وثائقياً قصيراً بعنوان “أصوات غير مسموعة” بتكليف من منظمة (DadaFest) نقلت فيه قصص أصحاب المحال اليمنيين في ليفربول، وقد تم عرضه لاحقاً في تلفزيون “بلقيس”، وترجم إلى اللغة العربية. 

تعمل آمنة حالياً على مشروع مطبوع وعبرالانترنت بعنوان ” Scouse Pilgrimage” بتكليف من (Unity Theatre). يمكنكم متابعة إصداراتها القادمة في المجلات التالية:  Sutton Manor, Speaking Volumes  وCordite Poetry Review. 

مليحة الأسعدي: شاعرة وكاتبة مقيمة في صنعاء، اليمن. تشغل مليحة منصب المدير التنفيذي لمؤسسة وجوه، وهي مؤسسة غير ربحية تعمل من أجل السلام في اليمن. كما ترأس مؤسسة السلام للتطوير والاستجابة الإنسانية. من إصداراتها: هوية امرأة (2006)، “نوافذ الصمت” (2009)، و”هكذا حدثني الغيم” (2020)

ميسون الإرياني: شاعرة وصحفية من اليمن حاصلة على عدد من الجوائز. ولدت في صنعاء. من إصداراتها: “حِيَل” (2016)، “الموارب من الجنة” (2013)، “مدد” (2010)، “سأثقب بالعاشقين السماء” (2009). من الجوائز التي حصلت عليها: جائزة الشعر توليولا ريناتو فيلبي الإيطالية للشعر العالمي (2021(، جائزة المقالح  للأدب العربي في مجال الشعر (2013). تحمل لقب “شاعر العام” عبر التصويت من قبل رابطة شعراء بلا حدود (2010)، وجائزة رئيس الجمهورية للشعراء الشباب، اليمن (2009).  

إدارة الفعالية

نوال المقحفي: مراسلة خاصة في هيئة الإذاعة البريطانية (بي بي سي)، وحائزة على عدد من الجوائز. محررة في قسم أخبار الشرق الأوسط منذ العام 2012. هي واحدة من الصحفيين القلائل الذين قاموا بنقل تقارير صحفية مباشرة من أرض الصراع الدائر في اليمن، وتنقلت بشكل مكثف في أرجاء البلاد.

Yemen in Conflict: The role of popular literature in conflict resolution

The next poetry workshop will be hosted by Ahmed Alkhulaidi at: Channel View Centre Jim Driscoll Way Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 7HB.

The workshop will take place on Saturday 16th November 2019 from 14:00 to 16:00.

We encourage anyone who is interested in poetry and spoken word to come along and get involved in the local workshop. Spaces are limited to twelve participants, so be sure to sign up soon. If you require further information or are interested, please send an email to Taher Qassim at taherqassim@gmail.com.

About the project

The University of Liverpool and the University of Leeds, in collaboration with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, are looking for people who are passionate about Yemen, its poetry and spoken word. We are producing a series of poetry workshops throughout the UK, working with the Yemeni community. The work created from these workshops will be used as part of a multimedia exhibition that will launch at the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in 2020.

The workshops will be hosted by a local poet from each city in which the workshop will take place. The poet in that city will use works collected from Yemeni poets concerning the topic of conflict and its resolution as an inspiration to start the workshop. The poet and the project lead will facilitate the session to encourage responses from participants attending the workshop, using the spoken and written word to create new bodies of work. In this way, the work produced locally, nationally and internationally will create a dialogue about the situation in Yemen through poetry and spoken word.