World Heart Beat Music Academy hosted the United Society of Writers for the launch of their contemporary poetry anthology Happiness: The Delight-Tree. The evening featured readings from the poets themselves, as well as performances from World Heart Beat Music Academy students and the Russian group Infinity’s Sky.
In 2012, the United Nations declared 20th March the annual “International Day of Happiness”. This anthology, published in unique celebration of the Day, brings together poets from 56 countries, with poems in 31 world languages. The generous self-offering of these poets affirms the beauty and universality of the pursuit of happiness.
Muhamad Tawfiq Ali is linguist, literary critic, author and trilingual translator between Kurdish (Sorani), Arabic and English. His work includes the Kurdish-Arabic translation of Goran, Kurdistan’s Immortal Poet, (a short biography and selected poems), and the English-Kurdish (Sorani) translation of Richard Berengarten’s poem, “Volta”, for The International Literary Quarterly. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguistics and lives in Essex.
Gernot Blume is a German poet, musician, composer, musicologist and educator. After 15 years of study, research and teaching in the United States, he now returns to his native Germany and resides in the city of Bingen. A multiinstrumentalist, he plays a Silmaril harp and came to play the harp through the influence of the Celtic folk revival of the 70’s and 80’s. He is the recipient of the “Kunstförderpreises” of the city of Bingen, numerous stipends, prizes, and commissions for musicological research, concert productions, and compositions, and has performed throughout the US, Europe, and Japan.
Shazea Quraishi was born in Pakistan and lived in Canada and Spain before moving to London, where she works as a poet, translator and creative writing tutor. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and journals in the UK and USA, including I Am Twenty People (Enitharmon, 2007), Images of Women (Arrowhead Press in association with Second Light, 2006), The Financial Times, PN Review, Magma, Modern Poetry in Translation and Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics.
Shirin Razavian is a Tehran-born British poet whose work has appeared in Poetry London, The London Magazine, Exiled Writers Magazine, and Persian Book Review, among others. She has published Farsi and English poetry collections in the UK, the latest of which is Which Shade of Blue (2010), with original work and translations by the poet/translator Robert Chandler.
George Szirtes is a poet and translator. Born in Hungary, he came to England in 1956 and writes in English and translates from Hungarian into English. His many books of poetry and translation have won numerous prizes including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for his first book, The Slant Door (1979); the T. S. Eliot Prize for Reel (2004) and the European Poetry Translation Prize for Zsuzsa Rakovsky’s New Life (1994). He has also written extensively for radio and is the author of more than a dozen plays, musicals, opera libretti, and oratorios.
Greta Stoddart was born in England and grew up Oxford and Belgium. She studied drama, touring the UK, Europe and South America for five years with Brouhaha – the theatre company she co-founded. She has published three books of poetry including: At Home in the Dark, which won the 2002 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; Salvation Jane, (2008) and most recently Alive Alive O (Bloodaxe Books, 2015). She lives in Devon and teaches for the Arvon Foundation and the Poetry School.