Open Mic for Exiled Writers


Monday 28. May 2018, 19:00 until 22:00

Venue: Kjelleren - The Basement

Host: Norsk PEN

Entrance: Gratis

Mastery of language is a writer’s most powerful skill. But when a writer is forced into exile, she has to start anew: she grapples with a new language, seeks new audiences, and makes a new space for expression.

We invite all exiled writers to come to the House of Literature in Oslo on Monday the 28th of May 2018 to share their words with the audience. It could be a poem, an extract from a short story or a novel. Perhaps you have some diary writings from your home country, from your journey, or from the first days in your new home country? Do you carry with you a song or an anecdote that you would like to share?

We’ll give a maximum of 5 minutes to each writer. We hope you will read in the original language, but please bring a professional translation of the text into English or Norwegian – if you have it – which we can present to the audience. Please make sure that the total reading (original language and translation) does not exceed 5 minutes.

The hosts of the evening will be Basim Mardan and Hege Newth. Basim is a writer, playwright and translator from Mosul, Iraq. He came to Norway and the city of Skien as a city of refuge writer in 2006. Basim now works for PEN International as a Writers at Risk Protection Officer. Hege is the Secretary General of Norwegian PEN.

The event is free of charge and open to everyone. The reading will begin at 7 pm, but doors and registration will be open from 6 pm. As spaces are limited we encourage early registration for everyone who would like to read. Please note that the event will be filmed and made available on PEN International’s social media accounts and on Norwegian PEN’s YouTube channel.

We will be serving coffee, tea and fruit. It is also possible to buy drinks and food from the café at the House of Literature before or after the program.

The program will be part of the PEN International Make Space Campaign and UNHCR’s #WithRefugees Campaign.

A warm welcome to everyone!