Erbil Literature Literature Festival

Lucy travelled to Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, with the British Council for the second Erbil Literature Literature Festival. She wrote about her experiences for the British Council.

“It was the exclamation mark that said it. In the days before I left for Erbil, my emails invariably included an exclamation mark, in parentheses, after the word Iraq. ‘I can’t next week because I’ll be in Iraq (!).’ ‘Let’s meet up when I’m back from Iraq (!).’ I’m pretty sure there was an exclamation mark in brackets when I spoke about the Erbil Literature Festival, too, translating as, ‘Can you believe it?’ and, ‘I know!’ and, ‘Aren’t I intrepid – or maybe foolish, haha!’ A sort of nervous laugh-cough, which I didn’t realise I’d been doing.

I noticed only this morning, reading an email from my publisher that ended with Iraq, bracket, exclamation mark, bracket. They’d emailed to double-check something, and, dashing off … Read more