In the Poetry Programme on Sunday 2nd June at 7:30 pm on RTÉ Radio 1 Olivia O’Leary hosts an event with Palestianian poet Rafeef Ziadah and American poet Patricia Smith. The performance was recorded live in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway at the 2019 Cúirt International Festival of Literature in April.
Rafeef Ziadah was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian refugee parents. She grew up in Tunisia and attended York University in Toronto. She has said, “a lot of people assume that Palestinian families are divided according to the demarcation lines of Israel’s occupation, but it’s never that simple. Half my family are Palestinian citizens of Israel and the other half refugees in Lebanon. My experiences have been marked by this statelessness and lack of documentation.” She is a powerful live performer and has published two albums of her work, Hadeel and We Teach Life.
Rafeef is accompanied during her performance by Lebanese-Australian guitarist Phil Monsour.
Patricia Smith is an American poet, spoken-word performer, playwright and writing teacher. She is a four-time individual National Poetry Slam champion and appeared in the 1996 documentary SlamNation, which followed various poetry slam teams as they competed at the 1996 National Poetry Slam in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Incendiary Art, published in the USA in 2017 and by Bloodaxe Books in the UK in 2019. Incendiary Art confronts the tyranny against the black male body and the tenacious grief of the mothers of murdered African American men.
Patricia performs work from Incendiary Art, plus a brand new poem, written while she was in Galway, in collaboration with Irish musician Ronan Browne.
The Poetry Programme will be available to listen back to after broadcast on the RTÉ radio player.
The Poetry Programme is a Rockfinch production for RTÉ. Series Producer: Claire Cunningham.
This is the final Poetry Programme in the current series. The series will return in autumn.
All photos courtesy of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.