My Pen is the Wing of a Bird: Stories from Afghan Women

My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird is a landmark collection: the first anthology of short fiction by Afghan women. Eighteen writers tell stories that are both unique and universal – stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity and cultural traditions.

This collection introduces extraordinary voices from the country’s two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari) with original, vital and unexpected stories to tell, developed over two years through UNTOLD’s Write Afghanistan project.

Editor of the collection and UNTOLD’s Write Afghanistan Project Director, Lucy Hannah, will be on stage with Afghan poet Parwana Fayyaz to talk about the collection of stories and the women who wrote them, with video contributions from the women themselves, some of whom are still in Afghanistan.

About the speakers:

Lucy Hannah is the Untold project director and founder specialising in setting up and delivering creative initiatives with marginalised communities. She founded and led Commonwealth Writers which operates across 53 countries, particularly in areas with little or no creative industries. While at the BBC, she established BBC Writer’s Room which discovers, develops and champions new writing talent across the UK. She has worked with writers in areas of conflict and post-conflict, including Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and N.E. Nigeria.

Parwana Fayyaz is a scholar of medieval Persian poetry. She is also a poet and a translator. Born in Kabul, she was raised in Pakistan. She was educated at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh, then Stanford followed by Cambridge University to pursue a PhD in Persian Studies at Trinity College and took up a Research Fellowship as the Carmen Blacker Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge University in October 2020. Her debut collection, Forty Names, was published in 2021 by Carcanet Press, and it was named A New Statesman Book of the Year and A White Review Book of the Year.

UNTOLD is a writer development programme for marginalised writers in areas of conflict and post-conflict.

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Birmingham Rep Theatre


Birmingham Rep Theatre
Centenary Square, Birmingham


08 Oct 2022


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


£8 / £6.40 (concs)