The Silk Road Literary Festival raises the profile of literature from and about Central Asia and the Silk Road, and supports the development of the region’s publishing sector. The first event, a full day festival of workshops, talks, and discussions, held in partnership with Shute Festival and Maximum Exposure, will take place online on 17 September, 2022.
Zohra Saed is the co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press); and editor of Langston Hughes: Photos, Notebooks and Poems (1932-1933). She is Distinguished Lecturer at Macaulay Honors College, The City University of New York.
Megan Eaves is a journalist, writer and editor who has covered the Silk Road for 18 years. She formerly served as Lonely Planet’s destination editor for China and Central Asia and is currently the editor of Visit Uzbekistan and Nightscape magazines. Her writing appears in The Times, the BBC, The Independent, and many other publications.
A'zam Obid is a poet, translator, and short story writer, and the founder of the first Writer/Artist Residency Program in Uzbekistan. His latest work include Without You (English translation of ghazals by Alisher Navoiy and Navoiy's Blooming Garden by T.Sodiqova), as well as My Name is Uzbekistan (his own poems in Uzbek and English).
Andrew Staniland is an English poet and translator. His recent collections include A Georgian Anthology and A New Diwan H/T Alisher Navoiy, and also a translation of selected poems by the 19th century Uzbek poets Uvaysiy and Nodira.
Irum Fazal is a writer and poet who studied the Middle East at Cambridge and SOAS. She is the founder of the Asian Women Writers programme, which support emerging women writers of Asian heritage who are yet to be published.
Olesya Romashko is the Head of the International Department at the Chamber for the Protection of Copyright of Artists, Creators, and Performers in Uzbekistan. She has an MA in International journalism from Swansea University and is a former radio news presenter.
Mark Reese is a translator, educator, and cultural consultant. He is the founder of the Muloqot Cultural Engagement Program and the English translator of O'tkan Kunlar (Bygone Days), which is considered to be the first modern Uzbek novel.
Saida Azizova works for the literary agency C&W, part of the Curtis Brown Group. She is Head of Events for the London branch of the Society of Young Publishers and also works with the Asian Women Writers programme.
Samantha Knights is the Chairman of the Silk Road Lit Fest's Board of Trustees, and is the Co-Founder of Shute Festival. She is one of the UK's leading barristers and an Adjunct Professor at University of Miami School of Law.
Nafisa Feeney has a PhD in Law and works in anti-money laundering, but her first love is literature. She's known as "The Book Sommelier" and runs popular Telegram (Uzbek & Russian), YouTube (Uzbek & Russian) and Facebook channels with carefully curated book recommendations, reviews, and videos.
Mahzuna Qodiriy is an ESL/EFL teacher at the Uzbek State World Languages University. She researches literary history and new ways of teaching literature, and is engaged in the management and promotion of the Abdulla Qodiriy House Museum in Tashkent.
Sophie Ibbotson is the Director of the Silk Road Lit Fest and the Chairman of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. She is the author of five guidebooks for Bradt Guides, including Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and is currently working on the first English-language guide to Karakalpakstan.