Writers in Prison Day – 15.11.2008

I’ll be reading from Back Burning on Thursday, 13 November at 7:30 pm at Shakespeare and Company in Vienna. When I set up the evening earlier this year, I didn’t realise it was WIP Day*. So if you are in Vienna, do go to the Michaelerkirche at 7:30pm where there’ll presentations by Jack Mapanje from Malawi and Sihem Bensedrine from Tunisia. The event is being organised by the Austrian Writers in Prison Committe.

Jack Mapanje has a contribution in the book, This Prison Where I Live: The Pen Anthology of Imprisoned Writers (1996) and Sihem Bensedrine is also an honorary member of PEN Suisse Romand. I met Sihem at a PEN meeting in Geneva on the eve of the highly politicised telco summit held in Tunisia in 2005 at which civil society had a tough time being heard. (I wonder how many countries have kept the promises they made in the final WSIS Declaration?)
Sihem is now living in Graz for a year within the project “Graz – Stadt der Zuflucht” (Graz – City of Refuge).

*Writers in Prison Day is 15 November. My reading happens to coincide with other events in Vienna commemorating WIP Day but being held on 13 November.