During a sweltering evening on 1 July, slam poet Afra Atiq thanked a room full of people for braving the weather to come and listen to her powerful poems as she kicked off Alserkal Avenue’s Literaturhaus at Nadi programme. However, no one muttered a word of complaint as Atiq stunned guests with words that were deeply personal and yet spoke of experiences almost every member of the audience could relate to. Her poems, filled with themes of love, loss, and moving on, as she masterfully combined humour and solemnity in her pithy pieces. She also spoke about her one true love, food (everybody seemed to agree that brownies always treat you right); about the messages that she has received from an ex’s fiancée (and her fiery reply); and about being asked if she has a real career (because a PhD in Poetry couldn’t possibly be good enough), and the room was filled with snaps and applause at her tremendous performance. Towards the end, Atiq spoke about her love for the arts and culture community in the UAE, and applauded events like Literaturhaus for bringing art to the community.
From July until the end of September, Literaturhaus will continue to bring authors, poets, critics, curators, publishers, translators, and musicians to Nadi Al Qouz at 4pm every Saturday. The events are free of charge and open to the public, however, spaces are limited so booking at firstname.lastname@example.org is essential. For the full program and more information, please visit www.alserkalavenue.ae.