It has been a packed few weeks for international cultural events in Leeds and the region, within and without the University.
Last week the celebrated Mexican poet Pedro Serrano read his poems in Spanish and English to a captivated audience at an event run by the Poetry Centre at the University of Leeds. I ran from here to the White Cloth Gallery to read a few poems for the launch of FURIES: A Poetry Anthology of Women Warriors. Helen Mort also read at the event, as did Khadijah Ibrahim, Director of Leeds Young Authors, who read from her book Another Crossing, published by the Leeds-based publisher of Caribbean and Black British Poetry, Fiction and Non-fiction Peepal Press. Other books on sale by Peepal Press at the event included Pepper Seed by Malika Booker, Douglas Caster Fellow at Leeds and works by Seni Seneviratne, who is reading at Verse Matters in Sheffield in 2016.
Wonderfully, there are too many events to mention. Manchester-based Sarah Yaseen (Rafiki Jazz) sang 15th Century Punjabi poetry at Verse Matters in Sheffield; I read at the first spoken word event in Mirfield (West Yorkshire Print Workshop) organised by Callaloo Carnival Arts, alongside talented poets and musicians, including Ruth Ododu and Saju Iqbal Ahmed; Talib Kweli, Akala and guests celebrated hip hop history on 14 November at Leeds City Museum; Continent Chop Chop, created by the Virtual Migrants Collective is performed on 13 November in Leeds, in partnership with Remember Oluwale.
The list goes on. Local cultural practices in Leeds and the surrounding region continue to be intimately tied to international events and contexts, and the historical links are fascinating. More from the archive to follow soon!