Refugee Tales IV at Hastings Literary Festival

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25 September 2021

Kino-Teatr, 43-49 Norman Rd, St Leonards on Sea TN38 0EG, UK

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About the event

Join Bidisha, Simon Smith and David Herd who will be talking about and reading from Refugee Tales IV – an anthology relaying the real experiences of anonymous refugees retold by authors. This volume welcomes new international perspectives and a focus on detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seventy years after the adoption of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the UK is guilty of undermining the very principles of asylum, inhumanly detaining those seeking protection and ushering in sweeping changes that threaten to punish refugees at every turn.

As the coronavirus pandemic defies borders – leaving those who are detained even more vulnerable – this collection shares stories spanning Canada, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, and calls from international insistence on a future without detention.

The Refugee Tales series raises money for Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group and Kent Refugee Help.

About the authors:

David Herd is a poet, critic, and teacher. His collections of poetry include All Just (Carcanet 2012), Outwith (Bookthug 2012), Through (Carcanet 2016), and Songs from the Language of a Declaration (2019). His essays and poems have been widely published and his recent writings on the politics of human movement have appeared in From the European SouthLos Angeles Review of BooksPaideuma, and the TLS. He is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Kent and a founder and co-organiser of Refugee Tales.

Bidisha is a broadcaster, journalist and film-maker. She specialises in human rights, social justice and the arts and offers political analysis, arts critique and cultural diplomacy tying these interests together. She writes for the main UK broadsheets and broadcasts for BBC TV and radio, ITN, CNN, ViacomCBS and Sky News. Her fifth book,  Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London, is based on her outreach work in UK prisons, refugee charities and detention centres. Her first short film, An Impossible Poison, received its London premiere in March 2018. It has been highly critically acclaimed and selected for numerous international film festivals. Her latest publication is called The Future of Serious Art and her latest film series is called Aurora.

Simon Smith is a poet who lives in London. His most recent books appeared in 2018: The Books of Catallus (Carcanet), DAY IN DAY OUT (Parlor Press) and Some Municipal Love Poems (Muscaliet Press).