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Writers welcomed from across the world to Highland writing centre

By Margaret Chrystall

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Moniack Mhor.
Moniack Mhor.

Words from around the world will be heard at Moiack Mhor this summer.

Writers from Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, England, and Scotland are among those who will be in residence.

Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre will be offering the writers time and space to write, as well as bringing new writing and performance to the Highlands.

The writers will begin by taking part in Moniack Mhor’s first Young Writers Festival, held at WASPS Creative Academy in Inverness from August 1-4.

Young writers aged 13-24 will be able to take part in free creative writing workshops with Nigerian performance poet Chika Jones, Scotland-based fiction writer Heather Parry, Canadian-born Scotland-based poet Alycia Pirmohamed, Scottish nature writer and visual artist Amanda Thomson, Nigerian British poet, playwright, and artist Tolu Agbelusi, and Emirati poet Mariam Alzarooni.

The festival will close in a cabaret of words and music on the evening of Friday, August 4 in the Atrium at WASPS Creative Academy, Inverness – all are invited to this public event, open to all ages. The writers will be joined by Ukrainian poet, Ostap Slyvynsky, resident at Moniack Mhor as part of the British Council, Futures Reimagined residency, and Lochaber musicians, Ingrid and Megan Henderson, giving the chance to hear international writing come together with Scottish words and music.

Also joining the residency will be poet and performance artist Genevieve Carver, Moniack Mhor’s 2023 Jessie Kesson Fellow, who will be among the writers travelling to Orkney to perform at the Pier Arts Centre on Thursday, August 11.

Genevieve will be joined by Edwige Renée Dro, a writer and literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire, as well as Chika Jones, Heather Parry, Alycia Pirmohamed and Amanda Thomson.

They will be performing their work with Orcadian musician Erik Linklater.

Elsewhere during the residency, writers will be delivering creative writing workshops to community groups such as Inverness Women’s Aid and HUG/ Spirit Advocacy Mental Health Support Network.

The six writers taking part in the Here and Now Residency will also then go on to spend another month at the Library of Africa and African Diaspora in Ghana, followed by a final performance at the Lagos International Poetry Festival, Nigeria, from October 26-29.

These residencies and events have been made possible thanks to generous support from the British Council and Creative Scotland.

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