We have delivered workshops to Afghan women via skype again! Only this time it was from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, and I was with my esteemed colleague Professor Sinead Morrissey.

With the support of the School of English at Queen’s University, and the British Council offices in both Northern Ireland and Kabul, this was the third and possibly final stage of the Afghan Women Spread the Word project – teaching the participants creative writing skills. And who better to do that than an award-winning poet?

Sinead began by introducing the women to the haiku, the Japanese 17-syllable verse. But they were soon reading her their poetry and talking about landai, the traditional oral short poems, often recited by Pashto women.

The seminar even made it into the newspapers http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/helping-afghan-women-is-poetry-in-motion-31529952.html

But the most satisfying part of it was that it yet again a success. And Sinead was as captivated by the women’s enthusiasm as I always am.

I’m not sure where the project goes from here – but we have built so many links so far – between women from across Afghanistan – and between Afghanistan and Ireland, that I don’t think we can lose that.

Hulia2