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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Next Week To Switzerland: The Place Bolsheviks Used To Escape To

I am going to Basel in Switzerland next week to talk about Over The Edge and my own writing; to give a workshop and also to read some poems.

Here is a report on my visit in the current issue of The Basel Journal.

"As a youth, Higgins started out as a political activist in London, fighting for egality and justice from the left of the mainstream. In the 1990s, he settled in Galway where he has become somewhat of a literary activist fighting for the right of everybody to engage in creative writing. A rebel by nature, he revolutionised the literary scene in Galway, not to the delight of all writers and literati. But by now literary Galway would be unthinkable without Kevin Higgins. 

Higgins will teach a workshop at the Basel English Seminar. Also he will hold a lecture at the GGG Library Basel West. Further he will extend the Galway tradition of “Kitchen Readings” to the big kitchen of Basel author Esther Murbach, reading some of his poetry.

Schedule of events with Kevin Higgins in November:

  • November 7, 7 pm, Irish Night of Literature and Music at the GGG Stadtbliothek Basel West, Allschwilerstrasse 90, Basel. The evening will start with an apéro and music by Kate Dineen, who teaches vocals at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and who founded the vocal trio White Raven. Lecture by Kevin Higgins about his life and work at 7.30 pm, followed by a friendly get together for questions, discussions and more music.
    Admission 15 Swiss francs
  • Nov 9, 10 am to 4 pm, Writing Workshop at the English Seminar, Nadelberg 6, Basel. Please apply to the following: Roger Bonner, Birsigstrasse 120, mobile 079 303 81 48; email info@roger-bonner.ch .
    Fee 30 Swiss francs
  • Nov 10, 5 pm, Kitchen Reading at the home of Esther Murbach, Lenzgasse 17, 4056 Basel. Please register with esther.murbach@gmx.ch , or by phone: 061 321 25 90."
Thanks to the Irish Embassy in Switzerland for their support of the event.
 
Swizerland has often been a refuge for exiles, though I am not planning to go into exile there, unless things take a serious turn for the worse in the next couple of days.

In 1916 an important, though extremely small conference of anti-war socialists and radicals took place in the Swiss town of Zimmerwald
A lithograph of the Hotel "Beau Séjour" where the conference delegates stayed.

In 1903 the sixth Zionist Congress took place in Basle and the twenty three year old Leon Trotsky attended, as a not at all supportive observer. Afterwards he wrote predicting that the movement would come to nothing. Ah well, you can't be right all the time.