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Alienated or Belonging in England: Voices of Exiled Writers

23 November @ 18:00 - 20:00 GMT


Writers in exile from repressive regimes and war-torn situations often have extraordinary lived experiences, whether of conflict, cultural alienation, or associated trauma. Yet it is by virtue of their difference to ‘ordinary life’ that their stories might seem difficult to relate to for an English audience.

How can exiled writers powerfully convey their experiences in writing? How can they make themselves heard and understood? How can they pitch their ideas to publishers?

Shirin Razavian will chair this industry insider with poet and journalist Hussam Eddin Baramo, bilingual poet Leo Boix and Afghan writer and scholar Parwana Fayyaz.

This event is presented by Exiled Writers Ink.



  • 6pm – Arrivals
  • 6.30pm – Welcome and introductions – Dr Jennifer Langer, Founding Director, Exiled Writers Ink
  • Industry Insider panel discussion with Shirin Razavian (chair), Hussam Eddin Baramo, Leo Boix and Parwana Fayyaz
  • 7.30pm – Light refreshments
  • 8pm – Close


The Line-up


Hussam Eddin Baramo

Hussam Eddin Baramo is a poet and journalist who was born in Syria and whose poetry collection in English is Grave Seas (Palewell, 2021). He co-founded a publishing company Al-Wa’l in Damascus and having endured the repression that crushed Syria and the clandestine leftist party to which he belonged, he fled to Cyprus and in 1994 moved to London. When the Syrian uprising began in 2011, he was part of the creation of the Syrian Writers Association, and served as vice-president and editor-in-chief of Awraq, its cultural publication (2012-2019). Hussam’s previous publications include a poetry book Poisoned Kohl (2012) and short stories. He translated Introduction to Slavoj Zizek and Post Orientalism, by Hamid Dabashi (2013). He currently works as managing editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. He is a columnist and political analyst and has been a speaker at universities, conferences, TV programmes and seminars as well as a contributor to debates.


Leo Boix

Leo Boix is a bilingual Latinx poet born in Argentina who lives and works in the UK. His debut English collection Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021) was awarded the Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice. He was awarded the Bart Wolffe Poetry Prize, the Keats-Shelley Prize, a PEN Award, The Society of Authors’ Foundation and K. Blundell Trust. Boix was highly commended in the Stephen Spender Prize and The Charles Causley International Poetry Competition, as well as been twice long-listed for the National Poetry Competition, run by the Poetry Society.


Shirin Razavian (Chair)

Shirin Razavian is a Tehran-born British poet whose work has appeared in Poetry London, Index on Censorship, Exiled Writers Magazine, The London Magazine, Agenda and Persian Book Review among others. She has published six Farsi and English poetry collections in the UK, the latest of which is Bird of Darkness, a selection of contemporary poems in Farsi. Shirin is an Exiled Ink magazine editorial committee member and a judge for the Jaleh Esfahani Cultural Foundation Poetry Prize.


Parwana Fayyaz

Parwana Fayyaz is an Afghan writer and a scholar of medieval Persian poetry. Her debut poetry collection, Forty Names, was published in 2021 by Carcanet Press, and it was named A New Statesman Book of the Year and A White Review Book of the Year. She won the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.  Born in Kabul, she was raised in Pakistan. After finishing high school in Kabul, she enrolled in an English language immersion program and subsequently began her undergraduate studies in Chittagong, Bangladesh. She transferred to Stanford University and earned both her B.A. in 2015, with a major in Comparative Literature (with Honors) and a minor in Creative Writing (Poetry), and an M.A. in Religious Studies in 2016. She then moved to Cambridge University to pursue a PhD in Persian Studies at Trinity College and took up a Research Fellowship as the Carmen Blacker Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge University in October 2020.


About Exiled Writers Ink

Exiled Writers Ink, founded in 2000, brings together established and developing writers from repressive regimes and war-torn situations and it equally embraces migrants and exiles. Providing a safe, welcoming space for writers to be heard, Exiled Writers Ink develops and promotes the creative literary expression of refugees, migrants and exiles, increases their representation in the mainstream literary world, develops cross cultural dialogue and advocates human rights and social justice through literature and literary activism.

Website:  www.exiledwriters.co.uk  | Instagram: @ExiledWritersInkEWI | Twitter: @ExiledInk


COVID-19 safety

We recommend the following: 

  • Staying home if you’re feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Washing your hands when coming in from the outdoors and / or before touching your face
  • Applying alcohol hand sanitiser (we will have these on site)



Book your place by using the registration below.  This is a free event.



All SoA Lates are free to SoA Members but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE


23 November
18:00 - 20:00 GMT
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The Society of Authors
24 Bedford Row
London, WC1R 4EH United Kingdom