24th of March, 3 Poets Panel, Shanta Acharya, Anthony Howell and Fawzi Karim

On Tuesday 24th of March, join us at 2:30pm at a fantastic event for any aspiring wordsmith.

We have a truly international flavour as we engage with poetry from around the world. Join us as we hear from internationally recognized poet Shanta Acharya life member of the Poetry Society (UK). Anthony Howell, poet and performance artist will be alongside his collaborator on ‘Plague Lands’ Iraqi poet Fawzi Karim, who will reading his poetry told in both English and Arabic.


Shanta Acharya

shantaAcharya_portraitOfShantaAcharyaAn internationally recognized poet, Shanta has published five collections of poetry. Her poems have been widely anthologized appearing in major publications in the USA, UK and India. London based but born in India and educated in America, Shanta won a scholarship to Oxford, she was one of the first few women to be admitted to Worcester College and was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University.

Shanta’s latest poetry collection is ‘Dreams That Spell The Light’. Her poems, articles and reviews have been featured in major publications worldwide, such as ‘Poetry Review’, ‘Oxford Today’ and ‘The Guardian: Poem of the Week’, where an in-depth analysis of one of her many thought provoking poems ‘Beware’ takes place. She has also published a book, her doctoral thesis on the influence of Indian thought on Ralph Waldo Emerson, which was completed in Oxford in 1983, and officially published in 2001.

Regularly invited to give poetry readings and talks, Shanta is the founder director of Poetry in the House, responsible for hosting monthly readings at Lauderdale House, in Highgate Hill. A role she has undertaken voluntarily since June 1996. Shanta has also served on the development board of the Arvon Foundation. She was among the founder members on the board of trustees of the Poetry School. A life member of the Poetry Society, UK, she has twice served on its board of trustees. Shanta has read at various institutions, festivals and poetry reading venues in the UK, USA and India. North London Literary Festival is excited to have Shanta Acharya read at our festival this year.


Anthony Howell

HOWELLPoet, novelist and performance artist, he left the ballet later in order to concentrate on writing, and his first collection of poems, ‘Inside the Castle’. At that time, he was teaching creative writing to students at the American Institute for Foreign Study at their University of Grenoble campus. He founded the acclaimed performance company, The Theatre of Mistakes. Under his direction, this company made notable appearances at The Cambridge Poetry Festival, at the Serpentine Gallery, London, and at the Hayward Gallery and at the Biennale de Paris.

Currently Senior Lecturer in Time Based Studies at the Faculty of Art, Design and Technology, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. In recent years he has been the editor of ‘Grey Suit: Video for Art & Literature’ – a seminal magazine distributed on VHS videotape, published quarterly and distributed worldwide. He has also been the organiser of Cardiff Art in Time – the UK’s most vibrant performance art/video festival, featuring student and professional work from around the world.

Howell has received numerous bursaries and awards for performance and for writing, he was invited by the South Bank Centre to act as a consultant concerning the future programming of the Purcell Room. His articles and reviews have appeared in many publications. Recently he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award. He also started Tottenham Arts and Dance centre The Room, where he curated “Poetry@TheRoom” , which started back up again in 2014. A man of many talents, Anthony is currently touring ‘Tango Art’ – a fusion of the tango and performance art – which has already been shown at the SKC Belgrade, in Montenegro and at the Irish Centre, London.  His most recent book of poems is ‘Dancers in Daylight’.


Fawzi Karim 

Fawzi Karim Fawzi Karim is an Iraqi writer and painter. He was born in Baghdad in 1945, lived in Lebanon from 1969-1972 and has lived in London since 1978. Described as being one of the most compelling voices on the exiled generation of Iraqi writers. Karim generally writes in Arabic, and what is most intriguing about his poetry is that he writes in free verse, using classical language.

He has published more than fourteen books of poetry, including a two volume ‘Collected Poems’ (2000), ‘The Foundling Years’ (2003), ‘The Last Gypsies ‘(2005) and ‘Night of Abel Alaa’ (2008). He is also the author of eight books of prose, including ‘The Emperor’s Clothes: on Poetry’ (2000), ‘Diary of The End of a Nightmare’ (2005), ‘Gods the Companion: on music’ (2009).

Working closely with the author, the poet Anthony Howell has created versions of ‘Plague Lands’ and a selection of Karim’s shorter poems. Notes on the poems, Elena Lappin’s introduction and an afterword by Marius Kociejowsky exploring Karim’s life, illuminate the context of the poetry. In the first collection of his poetry to appear in English, his long sequence ‘Plague Lands’ is an elegy for the life of a lost city, a chronicle of a journey into exile, haunted by the deep history of an ancient civilisation. Memories of Baghdad’s smoke-filled cafés, its alleys and mulberry-shaded squares, ‘the tang of tea, of coffee beans…arak, napthalene, damp straw mats’, are recalled with painful intensity. Karim’s defiant humanity, rejecting dogma and polemic, makes him a necessary poet for fractured times.

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North London Literary Festival 2015 looks forward to hosting Shanta Acharya, Anthony Howell and Fawzi Karim, as they discuss their poetic careers. Why not come hear them speak at the North London Literary Festival? You can also get involved with our very own writing competition, more information here. 

All festival events are free and open to all: students, staff and the public.

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