Memorial for Mutanabbi Street

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On Saturday, March 29, 2008, I'll be one of many performers to memorialize the destruction, a year ago, of Mutanabbi Street, which is Baghdad's literary and intellectual heart.

The event will take place from 3-6 pm at the Newport Beach Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach.

The event is sponsored by the Levantine Cultural Center, Newport Beach Library and the Mutanabbi Street Coalition, along with cosponsors Los Angeles Poetry Festival, PEN Center West, Red Hen Press and Writers at Work.

To memorialize the blast's wounding of Baghdad's cafes and bookstores, there will be live music by the Saadoun Al-Bayati Ensemble and readings by Beau Beausoleil, Doris Bittar, Michael Datcher, Sesshu Foster, Sam Hamod, Dima Hilal, Janet Sternberg and Carina Topal. A short documentary of Mutannabi Street will be screened and the event concludes with a light Middle Eastern reception.

Advance reservations are strongly suggested. Hope to see you there!

For those in Orange County, call 949/548-2411 to RSVP. In Los Angeles, call 310/657-5511. Or reserve in advance now by donating online.