"They say the war forever changed poetry/ each poem a tombstone for the unknown/ or eulogies for futures to die. "

Mona Kareem [Kuwait, 1987]

Poet, translator and journalist Mona Kareem was born in Kuwait but lives in the US, where she obtained a PhD in Comparative Literature. She is the author of three collections of poetry in Arabic. Her first collection in English is to be published in 2020. As a Bidoon – a member of an ethnic group that is considered stateless by Kuwait’s government and denied citizenship – she is committed in her work as a journalist to fighting the violation of civil rights. Her poetry is characterised by a distinctly female voice that gives compelling expression to political and social concerns as well as deeply personal issues, while also allowing for humour and lyricism. Poetry International has invited Kareem to stay in Rotterdam during the festival as poet-in-residence.

READING: Saturday 15 June, 18:50 hrs - Jurriaanse Zaal


The 50th Poetry International Festival will kick-off on 13 June in the Main Auditorium of de Doelen. On 14, 15 and 16 June most events will take place in or around the Jurriaanse zaal. De Doelen is situated within walking distance of Rotterdam Central Station

Entrance Main Auditorium – Schouwburgplein 50, Rotterdam
Entrance Jurriaanse zaal – Kruisplein 30, Rotterdam


Nederlands Letterenfonds
Gemeente Rotterdam
Droom en Daad
Lira Fonds
Stichting Dioraphte
Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds