Dubai, September 2018: An evening of Emirati poetry is to be featured at this year’s London Literature Festival, the first time that the art form has been included in the programme. Three of the United Arab Emirates’ leading poets will perform their work at the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, on Wednesday 24 October at 8pm. Performances will be in Arabic and English, with translation.

The poets’ appearance at the event has been made possible through the support of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, UAE, and the Emirates Literature Foundation.

Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, emphasized the importance of having Emirati poets at London Literature Festival. ‘Their participation amplifies the national poetic talents globally and highlights UAE’s inspiring cultural heritage, which narrates important chapters of UAE history and embodies the country’s common human values.

Al Kaabi added: ‘We are happy to announce the Ministry’s support for Emirates Literature Foundation, which plays a vital role in building bridges of constructive communication among various cultures and civilizations and highlighting the development witnessed in the current cultural, literal, artistic and creative scene in the UAE.’

Isobel Abulhoul, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation said: ‘One of our aims at the Emirates Literature Foundation is to provide opportunities to put Emirati literary talent in the spotlight. This is a tremendous platform to highlight Emirati poetry and it is an honour to have our beloved poets included at this prestigious event.  I am sure that those with families living in the UK will let them know that the performance is happening so that they can come along and enjoy it.  In addition to Emirati nationals resident in London, we expect this event to be popular with  anyone with an interest in the Arab World and poetry.’

The London Literature Festival, which last year saw Tom Hanks and Hillary Clinton headline the event, celebrates a wide range of literature from across the world. The Emirati poetry evening will be staged at the Southbank Centre, the world-famous, multi-venue arts centre which houses the largest contemporary collection of poetry in the UK in the National Poetry Library. The Emirati poets will be invited to donate a copy of their works to the collection.

The featured poets are:

Nujoom Alghanem is an Emirati writer, artist and film director and one of the most recognized female poets in the Arab world. She is known for her free-verse writing style and has published eight collections including Evening of Paradise, Sins, Journeyings, and I Fall into Myself.

Ali AlShaali is a poet, culture activist and publisher and has been reciting his poetry in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf Countries for the last 20 years. He is an active member of the Emirates Writers Union and has published three anthologies of poetry A Bee and a Rababa, Faces and Weary Others and The Earth Has One Soul. Ali is currently working on a novel and his fourth poetry anthology.

Maryam Mahyoh is a poet, painter and fashion designer. She has won a number of awards and competitions for her poetry and represented her country at events such as the National Day Celebrations in 2015. Her poems have been published in several magazines. A specialist in Nabati poetry, Maryam has also collaborated with composers to put her verses to music.

The event is free but tickets are required for entry.  Tickets and further information is available at https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/131370-emirati-poets-london-2018