On March 5th and 6,th In Paris, London, Venice, Baghdad, San Francisco, New York, Dubai, Vancouver, and over 30 other cities and towns across the world (full list here: https://arablit.org/2017/02/25/10th-anniversary-readings-for-al-mutanabbi-street/), readings are being held on the 10th anniversary of the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, a centuries old street of literary culture that was destroyed that day by a car bomb.
In Amherst, this event is taking place at the Hampshire College Library in the Gallery at 4pm on Monday, March 6th.
We invite all community members, students, faculty and staff, to join an hour of open mic readings focusing on war, cultural destruction, and the role of the artist in exploring these issues. Please come and bring a poem or passage to read, or just come to listen.
Beau Beausoleil, a San Francisco book seller who was has been one of the organizers of the events and exhibits over the past 10 years comments, “The readings this year are as always a moment of solidarity with Iraqi people and their artists and writers, reminding us of what they face. But I also see them now as a moment of solidarity for members of this project where we can take stock of our own strength as writers and artists in the face of our own homegrown incipient fascism. Al-Mutanabbi Street holds the values of this project: free speech, the free exchange of ideas, and the equality that poetry, writing, and art inherently promise.”