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Finding my father in Mesopotamia
15 May 2014
Jenny Lewis's father fought as a young man in the First World War campaign in Mesopotamia - modern day Iraq, Iran and Syria. He joined the South Wales Borderers in 1915 and served in Mesopotamia until 1917 when he was wounded at Kut al Amara. He died in 1944 when Jenny was a baby. Through a presentation of original photographs, poetry and witness statements from her latest collection, Taking Mesopotamia (which was heavily based on research at The National Archives) Jenny vividly and movingly links the 2003-2011 Iraq war to its roots in the First World War campaign, traces her own roots to the father she never knew and shows how to turn historical and family research into poetry.
Jenny Lewis is a poet, playwright and children's author. She has published three collections of poetry, including Taking Mesopotamia, (Oxford Poets/ Carcanet 2014), and two pamphlets in English and Arabic with the Iraqi poet, Adnan al Sayegh, Now as Then and Singing for Inanna (Mulfran Press 2013 and 2014). She has had plays and poetry cycles performed at theatres across the UK including After Gilgamesh at Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, 2011. She teaches poetry at Oxford University.
Sponsored by the Friends of The National Archives.
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