Choman Hardi interviewed on The World Service

Choman Hardi interviewed on The World Service


The Arts Hour, BBC World Service, Sunday 2 July 2017, 3.05pm, repeated twice on Monday 3 July 2017

Kurdish-British poet Choman Hardi was Nikki Bedi’s studio guest on the World Service’s The Arts Hour in connection her appearance at the 21st Ledbury Poetry Festival. She contributed to discussions about the various clips aired (The Arts Hour is a compilation show), and discussed her own poetry.

‘Nikki is joined by the Kurdish poet Choman Hardi and the film writer and critic Tanul Thakur.’

Choman discussed her second English-language collection Considering the Women fifteen minutes’ into the programme.  She spoke about the central sequence, Anfal, which draws on her post-doctoral research on women survivors of genocide in Kurdistan.  She talked about how her aim was to give voice to women’s experiences in the aftermath of conflict, and about how she pared down the language in order to allow the women’s stories to speak for themselves.  She read her poem ‘Dispute Over a Mass Grave’ from the Anfal sequence.  The programme had its first broadcast at the same time as Choman was reading from her work at the Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Click here to listen.  Choman contributes throughout the programme, and discusses her own poetry at 15.37.

The Cultural Front Line, BBC World Service, Saturday 9 July 2016, 0932, 1232, 2006 & 2206 hrs, Sunday 10 July 0502 hrs

Choman Hardi was interviewed about her Forward-Prize shortlisted collection Considering the Women on the World Service’s The Cultural Front Line: where arts and news collide.

Choman spoke about her experiences as an immigrant, and why she returned to her home city of Sulaimani in Iraqi Kurdistan after years living in Britain and latterly Germany.  She talked about the central section of Considering the Women, which was based on her post-doctoral research on women survivors of the genocide in Kurdistan in 1988, and read the poem ‘Dispute Over a Mass Grave’. She was also asked about the Chilcot Report.

‘Kurdish poet Choman Hardi discusses her Forward Prize-nominated collection which tackles genocide and displacement…’

Click here to listen to the programme, which is also available as a podcast.  1st item.

Choman Hardi moved back to her home city of Sulaimani in 2014 to take up a post at the American University of Iraq (AUIS), becoming chair of the department of English in 2015. 



Choman Hardi speaks to the Forward Arts Foundation about her beginnings in poetry, and about her response to being shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection.

'This news has been very welcome because it makes me feel that the people whom I tried to give voice to in Considering the Women will be heard, that bearing witness is valued, that telling the truth about the human condition is necessary.' - Choman Hardi

Click here to read the interview



Danni Solle's remarkable short film ‘Crossing the Bridge' about Choman Hardi is available online.  In it Choman speaks about poetry, exile, memory and belonging.Includes Choman reading some of her poem 'There was...' from her first English language collection Life for Us (Bloodaxe Books, 2004).

Click here to watch the film



Choman Hardi's poem 'Dibs Camp, the Women's Prison' from her second English language collection Considering the Women was discussed by Carol Rumens in her Guardian Poem of the Week column of 2 November 2015.

Click here to read the column

Choman Hardi began her reading at the Forward Prize event at the Southbank Centre on 20 September 2016 with this poem: Click here to watch.


Front Row, BBC Radio 4, Wednesday 22 July 2015, 7.15pm

Choman Hardi was interviewed on Radio 4’s Front Row on 22 July 2015.  She was in London for two readings connected to the Shubbak Literary Festival.

Choman Hardi, who had been living in the UK since being granted refugee status in 1993, spoke to Samira Ahmed about her decision to return to Kurdistan last year.  She now teaches literature and feminist studies at the American University of Iraq in her home city of Sulaimani.  The central sequence of Choman Hardi’s Considering the Women draws on her research on the women survivors of genocide in Kurdistan.  On Front Row she read part of her poem ‘The Gas Survivor’ from this collection.

‘Iraqi Kurdistan poet Choman Hardi explores statelessness, genocide, conflict and Kurdish identity in her poetry. She talks to Samira about the challenges of capturing the complexities of war in verse and the insights that poetry can give into conflict.’


[04 July 2017]

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