Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New Review: Gilgamesh’s Snake and Other Poems

The Bottle Imp, 16th June 2016 Ghareeb Iskander’s own transformation of the Gilgamesh epic into a modern poem draws the original’s grandeur down to the personal scale, without rendering it … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

New review: ‘Curse of the Achille Lauro’

Electronic Intifada, 26th August 2015 In 1985 four Palestinian commandos booked passage on an Italian cruise liner, the Achille Lauro. According to their plan, they should have remained undercover, acting … Continue reading

September 10, 2015 · 4 Comments

Gulf War One and the BBC’s banned songs

As the result of a Twitter conversation with SOAS’ David Wearing which started with the 39 Steps and worked its way through the works of John Buchan, Greenmantle, BBC Radio … Continue reading

January 1, 2015 · 1 Comment

Nothing more violent than silence

A couple of years ago I had the honour of being invited to speak at Manchester’s beautiful John Rylands Library (the beautiful Victorian original on Deansgate, not the concrete monstrosity … Continue reading

June 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

We’re all doomed, I tell you…

I don’t usually write things like this. In fact, I spend a lot of time telling Husband to shut up when he writes/rants on about it. I nearly throttled him … Continue reading

May 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

Rant warning: on capitalism, the Western media and different types of explosions

It is a commonplace which has, in a few days, spread from the leftist Twittersphere to the liberal media (hell, even Owen Jones is doing articles on it now) to … Continue reading

April 22, 2013 · 4 Comments

‘Perhaps This Poem Has No End’: Reel Iraq in Edinburgh

My guest blog for ArabLit on Saturday’s ‘Found in Translation’ Iraqi/Scottish poetry event at the Scottish Poetry Library: Despite Sabreen Kadhim’s absence, we did get one of her poems, “on … Continue reading

March 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

Sabreen Kadhim and the halfwits at the UK Border Agency

I’ve had occasion to get all irate and ranty about the impact of the UK Border Agency on art in this country before. Sadly, the cluelessly racist pairing of the … Continue reading

March 24, 2013 · 4 Comments

New article: ‘Poets of Protest’ reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 28th February 2013 “All revolutions begin as poetry. Poetry and protest are inseparable twins,” says Yehia Jaber. He should know. A former fighter whose memories include patrolling the … Continue reading

February 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Call for stories: Iraq in the future

Via Arablit, here’s a call from Manchester’s Comma Press for short stories by Iraqi writers imagining what the country will look like in 2103. The deadline is 1st June 2013 … Continue reading

February 15, 2013 · Leave a comment

Burning books [1]

The ‘Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street’ commemorates the bombing in 2007 of the famous booksellers’ street of Baghdad. Thirty people were killed, a hundred injured, and hundreds if not thousands of … Continue reading

February 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

New article: Hassan Blasim’s ‘The Iraqi Christ’ reviewed

ArabLit, 4th January 2013 “It is possible to whistle through these stories, enjoying their dry wit, breakneck pace and wildly careening references as they veer from 1001 Nights to Real … Continue reading

January 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Hassan Blasim: I'm not interested in 'preserving the beauty of the Arabic language'

Here is my guest blog post for ArabLit about the Newcastle launch of Hassan Blasim’s latest collection of short stories, The Iraqi Christ. Despite a notable absence of the actual … Continue reading

December 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Challenging BP's arts sponsorship

Received a press release this morning from the ongoing – and very busy – campaign to challenge BP’s role in arts sponsorship. It’s an important campaign on an important issue, … Continue reading

June 29, 2012 · Leave a comment