Friday, September 18, 2009

Crossing the bridge, by Danny Solle, Poetry


Born in Kurdistan and raised in Iraq and Iran, Choman Hardi came to the UK in 1993 where she was educated at Queens College Oxford, University College London, and University of Kent in Canterbury.

A poet, writer and academic researcher she was former Poet-In-Residence at Moniack Mhor Writers Centre (Scotland), Villa Hellebosch (Belgium), and Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Retreat (USA). She has performed her work in the UK, Europe, USA, India, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

She has published three collections of poetry in Kurdish and her first English collection, Life for Us, was published by Bloodaxe in 2004 and reprinted eighteen months later. In 2006 she became one of the youngest poets whose work was displayed as part of ‘Poems on the Underground’ and ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’ programs.

Choman has facilitated poetry workshops for Exiled Writers Ink, Apples and Snakes, New Writing Partnerships, Spread the Word, Accademi, The South Bank, The Arvon Foundation and the British Council. In 2007 she facilitated a series of poetry workshops for the young people in Kurdistan through the Youth Culture Houses in different towns and cities.

In 2005 she was awarded a two year post-doctoral research scholarship by the Leverhulme Trust to research about the widows of genocide in Iraqi Kurdistan and during which she was associated with the Uppsala Program for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She presented some of her findings at academic conferences in the UK, USA, Oslo, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Sarajevo.

She co-facilitated Gender and Mental Health training workshops with Dr Jennie Williams for women in Kurdistan in 2006 and 2007. She has also provided various seminars and workshops on Gender construction in Kurdish society and the position and experiences of the widows of Anfal in many Kurdish cities as well as for the diaspora.