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"I am the Beggar of the World" Reading and Book Signing


Event Date:

May 12, 2014 | 7:00 PM EDT
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Anonymous and spoken, landai, two-line Pashtun poems, have served for centuries as a means of self...

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Multiple Authors
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Join us on Monday, May 12 for a night of Afghan women's folk poetry read by journalist and author Eliza Griswold, authors Susan Minot and Amy Waldman, as well as Minister Counselor Asila Wardak from the Afghanistan mission to the UN, who will read in Pashto. A book signing will follow the readings.

"My love will gather us both together on the day of resurrection.
Brutes have placed stones between us in this world."

--Rahila Moska, a young Afghan woman poet from Helmand

Griswold reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan for 10 years. But because of the demand for breaking news, some of her most interesting stories were left on the cutting room floor. Wanting to convey the humanity and humor of the Afghan people who were living with the daily realities of war, she embarked on a project to tell those stories by collecting oral folk poems shared mostly among Pashtun women. The poems are called landays. Just two lines long with 22 syllables, they carry a bite. (One meaning of the word landay is short, poisonous snake.) "I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan" was the result of her Pulitzer Center-supported project, "Afghanistan: On Love and Suicide," with poems translated by Griswold and haunting photography of Afghan life by Seamus Murphy.

Poetry magazine dedicated its entire June, 2013 issue to the poetry, with written contributions by Griswold and photography by Murphy.

This event is co-hosted by Culture Project, the Open Society Foundation, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

RSVP to: [email protected]

Monday, May 12
7:00 pm
The Culture Project
45 Bleecker Street
New York, NY

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Gender Equality

Gender Equality



war and conflict reporting


War and Conflict

War and Conflict