Poet Tony is off to Iran to read his poetry at an international convention

POET Tony Bowland is about to realise the ambition of a lifetime, as he takes a trip to Iran to read his poems at an international convention.

Tony, who used to teach drama at the City of Ely College, said: “I had spent the last year trying to save enough money to go to Iran, and now I have been invited to go there, with all my expenses paid.”

Currently unemployed, Tony said: “For the last couple of years I have been writing poety constantly; I have been writing for several decades.”

He will read his poetry at events in Tehran and Shiraz. “I am really excited about the trip, it is a dream come true,” said Tony.

The surprise invitation came after Tony spent some time teaching English in London; and one of his students was the daughter of an Iranian diplomat.

Tony explained: “There is a cultural group attached to the Iranian Embassy, and about six months ago my student talked to the man in charge of that cultural group, and told him that I was interested in Persian history and culture. He got in touch with me, and asked me to attend the international convention.”

The Ministry of Culture in Iran is sponsoring the event, and will pay Tony’s air fare and living expenses while he is there. Tony is one of 40 poets attending the event, they come from 25 different countries.

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Since leaving his job at the City of Ely College in the late 1990’s, Tony has had various teaching jobs, and has had his poetry published in a couple of pamphlets.

He added: “The poems I sent to Iran will be published after the convention, I feel very happy supporting this event.”