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Seventh anniversary readings

March 1, 2014

front cover1 copy Image by Jessica Wortley, from Theresa Easton’s blog. Twenty five readings will take place on or about March 5th, to mark the seventh anniversary of the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street. Why commemorate this one event in a catalogue of unspeakable atrocities? As readers, writers and lovers of books we can identify with the people of this ancient street of bookstalls, stationery shops and cafes where readers and writers met. The attack was made not on a military or strategic target but upon the cultural life of Baghdad. It was an attack on freedom of thought. Alembic 017Alembic 019 detail I heard an eye-witness account on the radio and was haunted by the pictures in my mind. When Beau put out his call for letterpress printers to respond, I volunteered immediately, and signed on for a letterpress beginners’ course! The confidence of inexperience! I became an overseas member of a group at Florida Atlantic University who were printing broadsides for the project under the tuition of John Cutrone, and consequently I have a collection of the broadsides printed by the other members of that class, and each of them has a copy of mine. With the support of Claire Bolton of Alembic Press I printed my short poem “Tears”, inspired by the account of that day’s events by Dr Saad Iskander, Director of the Iraq National Archive and Library. Later I wrote several more poems and made a small edition of a book for the project, printing the titles from old wooden type at the Dove Studios over the course of many months. This book is dedicated to Dr Eskander and to Beau. One copy is in the Jaffe Collection of Artists’ Books at Florida Atlantic University and one is in the Library of Alexandria. Ama Bolton-Page 15Page 16 Seven years on, our project is still an act of witness and of solidarity. Beau has just sent me a link to a Whirligig interview by Nanette Wylde. He has also sent the following list of readings.

1. The Collins Memorial Library, the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington –  Coordinators – Jane Carlin and Jessica Spring  March 7, at 12 p.m. at the Collins Memorial Library

2. Washington D.C. – Coordinators – Helen Frederick and Casey Smith
     March 5th, 6pm – 8:30pm at Busboys and Poets Cafe, 14th and V Streets, Washington, D.C.
3.  Warren, Michigan (Sterling Heights), Bella Banquet Hall, – Coordinators Dunya Mikhail and Alise Alousi –    March 5th, 7-9pm Bella Banquet Hall, 4100 E. 14 Mile Road, Warren, Michigan.
4. Exeter, UK. – Coordinator – Catherine Cartwright. March 5, 6:30 – 8pm, Double Elephant Print Workshop, Lower Ground Floor, Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS
5. St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada – Coordinators – Patrick Warner and Tara Bryan.March 5, 7-9pm at Eastern Edge Gallery (Harbour Drive at Baird’s Cove) St. John’s New Foundland and Labrador.
6. Herron Art Library, Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI, Indianapolis, Indiana – Coordinator – Sonja Staum – March 5, 4-6pm, IUPUI Herron Art Library, Artist Book Alcove, Herron School of Art and Design, 735 West New York Street,Indianapolis, Indiana.
7. Bristol, UK. – Coordinator – Sarah Bodman – 5th March from 11am – 4pm in  OC4   and  the Print Centre (relief print area) at UWE Bristol, Bower Ashton Campus,  Kennel Lodge Road, Bristol BS3 2JT
8. London, UK. – Coordinators – Hassan Abdulrazzak and Alan Ingram – March 5, 6:30-8:30pm    UCL Archaeology Lecture Theatre, 31-34 Gordon Square, WC1H OPY  London
9. Guarini Library, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey – Coordinator – Melida Rodas – March 4th, 7-9pm at the Library, 2039 Kennedy Blvd. Jersey City, New Jersey.
10. Pages on Kensington Bookstore – Calgary, Alberta, Canada – Coordinator – Richard  Harrison – March 5th 7:30-9:30pm – Pages Books on Kensington,  1135  Kensington   Road NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
11. Portland, Oregon  – Coordinators – Bill Denham and Laura Russell – March 5, 7-9pm, Multnomah Friends Meeting House, 4312 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon
12. The Great Overland Book Company (Bookstore) San Francisco, California  –  Coordinators – Beau Beausoleil and Andrea Hassiba. March 5, 7:30 – 9:pm – at The Great Overland Book Company, 345 Judah Street (at ninth avenue) San Francisco.
13. Somerset College of Arts and Technology, Taunton, UK – Coordinator – Carl Middleton –March 5th, 8-9pm, School of Art and Design, Somerset College, Wellington Road, Taunton TA1 5AX.
14. The Southern Letterpress, Northport,  Alabama – Coordinator – Jessica Peterson
       March 6, 5 – 8pm (Letterpress demonstration from 5-8pm, reading begins at 
       6pm) at The Southern Letterpress, 417 Main Ave. Northport, Alabama.
15. Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, Massachusetts – Coordinators – Jeff Spurr and  David P. Miller. March 5, 6-8pm, Cambridge, Arts Council, 344 Broadway (4th  floor), Cambridge    MA.
16. New Haven, Connecticut – Coordinator – Stephen Kobasa – March 1, 12pm – 2pm, (in conjunction with the opening of our exhibit)The Institute Library, 847 Chapel Street, New Haven CT.
17. San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California – Coordinator – Ozlem Ayse Ozgur – March 6th, 7-9pm, San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall, 800 Chestnut, San Francisco, CA.
18. The American University in Cairo, Egypt – Coordinators – Ferial Ghazoul, Samia Mehrez, Conchita Anorve-Tschirgi, and Philip Croom – March 5th, 1pm – 3pm.This reading and the keynote address by Sinan Antoon on March 6th, are in   conjunction with  opening of our project exhibit at AUC) – Nadia Niazi Mostafa Room (third floor) Rare Books & Special Collections Library, American University in Cairo, New Cairo Campus, AUC Avenue, New Cairo, Egypt.
19. London, UK. – Arab British Centre and Banipal – Coordinators – Noreen Abu Oun, Ruba Asfahani,  Hala Najjar, Chelsea Milsom, and Margaret Obank. –5 March, 2:30-4:30, Meeting Room, The Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.
20. New York City – Coordinators – Aditi Sriram and Sukhdev Sandhu – March 5th, 6:30 – 8:PM – Pomegranate Gallery, 137 Greene St. N.Y. NY.
21. Atelier 6000 in Bend, Oregon – Coordinators – Julie Winter and Patricia Clark. March 6, 4:30 – 7 pm – Atelier 6000 389 SW Scalehouse Ct. #120 – Bend, Oregon.
22.   Edinburgh, UK -Word Power Books – Coordinator – Sarah Irving – March 5th, 6-8pm, Word   Power Books, 43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB, Scotland.
23. Gateshead, UK – Gateshead Old Town Hall – Coordinator – Theresa Easton. March 3rd, 7-9pm – The Cafe at Gateshead Old Town Hall, West Street,Tyne & Wear NE8 1HE.
24. Minneapolis, Minnesota – Eat My Words Bookstore – With the Mizna writing group – Coordinator – Moheb Soliman – March 3rd, 7:30-9pm, Eat My Words Bookstore, 1228 2nd St. NE Minneapolis, MN
25. University of California, at Davis, CA. – Coordinator – Kevin Smith
       March 5,  4-6pm, Arboretum Wyatt Deck – UC Davis
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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 2, 2014 11:56 pm

    (Very sad day…)
    I specially love your poem ‘What is a book?’, it’s a very beautiful message.

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