The Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship

Following weeks of uncertainty due to visa delays, St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham, Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature, and the British Council, are delighted to announce that Syrian author Khaled Khalifa, Banipal Visiting Writer Fellow 2022, has arrived safely at St Aidan’s College to start his residency. Over the course of the term, he will have the opportunity to engage in literary activity with writers and readers in Durham, the North East of England, and other parts of the UK, in addition to pursuing his work-in-progress.

Khaled and english covers of Death is Hard Work, and No Knives in the Kitchens of This City

Khaled Khalifa, born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1964, is a novelist, screenwriter and poet living in Damascus. In addition to six novels to date, he has written numerous scripts for TV dramas and films, several of which have won awards. Three of his novels are published in English translation, all translated by Leri Price, with Death is Hard Work winning the 2019 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation as well as being a finalist in the US National Book Award for Translated Literature. Earlier novels have been shortlisted for both Arabic and translation literary awards with No Knives in the Kitchens of this City being awarded the 2017 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. Khalifa’s latest work Lam Yasulli ’alayhum Ahad: No One Prayed Over Them is a historical novel set in Aleppo. It was longlisted for the 2020 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. No One Prayed Over Them will be published by Faber and Faber in the UK in September and FSG, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, in the USA.

Khaled at St Aidan’s College/Facebook

The annual Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship was established five years ago in October 2016 by St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature, with the support of the British Council, for a published author writing in Arabic. The residency of one academic term is based each year at St Aidan’s College, providing a unique space for the Fellow to reflect and to write and also have the opportunity to share their work with British audiences.

The Fellowship is based on the three cornerstones that form the core of Banipal magazine: that Arab literature is an essential part of world culture and human civilisation; that dialogue between different cultures needs to be continually deepened; and that the joy and enlightenment to be gained from reading beautiful poetry and imaginative writing is an integral part of human existence.

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