In November of 2015, my partner, Alison Varndell, was selected to fly out to Bosnia as part of a delegation of teachers, lawyers, and other professionals to visit the site of the Srebrenica genocide and to meet with the mothers of the men and boys who lost their lives there. It was a harrowing experience for Alison and I was also greatly affected by what she told me and by the haunting photographs that she took. The idea of the visit was to encourage the delegates to return to Britain and educate others about the terrible atrocities that occurred during the Bosnian War, and to further the aims the charity, which works to promote understanding and tolerance among different ethnic and religious groups. You can find out more about the Bosnian War and the work of the charity at www.srebrenica.org.uk.
My small contribution to this important cause was to arrange a benefit reading for the charity, featuring the poets Jennifer Johnson and Kit Wright, both of whom very generously waived their fees.
It was a wonderful evening of poetry which began with an open mic session involving many local poets and a host of talent from London, the Home Counties and beyond, all reading to a room that was packed to the rafters. Continue reading