Shetland Arts has announced that Choman Hardi will be returning to Shetland to take up a month-long creative writing residency in March.
Dr Hardi is a poet, translator and painter, born in Iraqi Kurdistan. She arrived in the UK in 1993, having twice had to flee to Iraq with her family, in 1975 and in 1988 (during Saddam Hussain’s Anfal Campaign against the Kurds).
She has studied philosophy and psychology at Oxford University and at the University College of London, completed a doctorate at Kent University and post-doctorate research at the University of Uppsala in Sweden.
Dr Hardi has published three volumes of poetry in Kurdish and her first volume of poetry written in English, Life For Us, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2006. She has wide experience of working as a creative writing tutor which includes running 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. She has also been poet-in-residence at Moniack Mhor Writers’ Centre.
When she is not carrying out research, delivering workshops or writing, Dr Hardi also performs her work around the world and has read her poetry in the UK (including Shetland where her appearance at Wordplay was supported by Amnesty International), Europe, USA, India, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
Dr Hardi said: “I am really excited about revisiting this place with its open skies and compassionate people. I hope that this month will be a creative time and that, together, we will produce some new work inspired by the words of other poets.”
Her work in Shetland will include support for Shetland writers through creative writing workshops in the community, schools visits and poetry readings.
Shetland Arts literature development officer Donald Anderson said: “Choman Hardi is a fine poet and an excellent writing tutor who is very keen to come to Shetland. I have no doubt that she will make a tremendous impact both in her readings and her workshops.”
The residency is one of a series of residencies run by Shetland Arts with support from the Scottish Arts Council.