Baghdad, Adieu



Saturday 28th September 2019 | 14:00 - 15:30


Salah Al Hamdani, French poet, writer and actor/director was born in Baghdad in 1951. He began writing poems at about age twenty, as a political prisoner in Iraq. Opponent of Saddam Hussein, and inspired by Albert Camus, whose works could be found in the cafés of Baghdad, he chose France as a land of exile in 1975, where he continued his opposition to dictators, to war and to terrorism. In Paris he wrote more than fifty books (poetry, narratives, and short stories) of which several were translated from the Arabic with Isabelle Lagny. As actor or director, he appeared in films as well in theatrical productions, notably in 1979 in Gilgamesh in the role of Enkidou, at the Théatre National de Chaillot, under the direction of Victor Garcia.

At this event, Salah Al Hamdani and his translator, Sonia Alland, will read from “Baghdad, Adieu”, the first comprehensive collection of Al Hamdani’s poetry to be published in English.

This landmark collection gathers thirty-five years of his writings, from his first volume in Arabic, “Memory of Embers”, to his latest collection, written originally in French, “For You I Dream”. It offers English-language readers their first substantial overview of Al Hamdani’s work, fired by the fight against injustice and shot through with longing for the home to which he can never return.



Salah Al Hamdani, Poet

Sonia Alland, Translator



Tickets £2- £5

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