Sasenarine Persaud @ Edinburgh International Book Festival

Sasenarine Persaud recently returned from a successful eight (8) event reading tour of the UK, focused in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Sasenarine’s trip, funded mainly by the British Council, coincided with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. As part of the Games, a poet from each Commonwealth country read and recorded a poem on the BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) Poetry Postcard Program. Sasenarine’s poem, ‘Georgetown’ (from his soon to be released book, Love in a Time of Technology) is available here: 

The poem was printed on postcards and distributed throughout the Commonwealth Games. Sasenarine opened his tour with a reading and discussion on poetry and poetics, culture, homelands and exiles at the BBC in Glasgow in front a live audience.

This was followed by an interview and a reading at the Empire Café in Glasgow with an audience of over 200, and with the Scottish Minister of External Affairs and International Development introducing the evening. The Empire Café was formed to look at Scottish involvement with the slave trade and its association with the plantation system in the West Indies. The Empire Café commissioned Sasenarine to write a poem (‘Campbellville’) which was published by the Café in an anthology, and which led to the Café extending an invitation to visit Scotland.

Two (2) readings at the Saltire Society (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), in the historic courtyard building where Robert Louis Stevenson’s narrator of Treasure Island told the story of his iconic novel,followed.

Sasenarine rounded off his trip with three (3) readings at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF). He had the distinction of opening the 2014 edition of the EIBF on August 9, with a solo reading to a packed tent at a reading called “10 at 10”. Later in the day he read with three (3) other poets in an event billed as “Voices of the Caribbean Diaspora,” which occurred in the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre and which was introduced by Jackie Kay. His final appearance at the EIBF was at an event titled, ”Jura Unbound”, an evening of poetry, music and reflections, the evening before his departure.




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