Words: Readings in Two Languages

A bicycle:
there is no poetry
in stopping.

So writes Ahmed Al Mulla, the groundbreaking Saudi poet whose vivid, free-flowing prose has gained him critical acclaim across the Middle East and Arab World. Diverging from the strict, metered style of Arabic poetry, Al Mulla chooses to embrace free verse in his poems. Leading by example, Al Mulla is encouraging Saudi society to creatively express itself in less than traditional ways through his work as the Director of the ever-growing Saudi Film Festival, head of the Saudi Culture and Arts Society, and a regular contributor to Al Sharq Newspaper.

At the Museum of Art & History, Al Mulla will share a number of his poems in both the original Arabic and in English translation alongside musical accompaniment on the oud. The multicultural evening stays true to the heart of Al Mulla's poems: humanism, universality, and expression. Al Mulla will discuss his work, its meaning, and creative expression today in the Middle East at a Q&A session and reception to follow the performance. English recitations will be done by poet and eight-time Pushcart Award nominee, Francesca Bell.

The free performance will be followed by a reception with an open wine and beer bar from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.


Ahmed Al Mulla is a Saudi poet and screenwriter who has authored a total of eight books of poetry, as well as five short film scripts. Al Mulla has performed at poetry festivals around the globe, and his work was featured in the book New Voices of Arabia, a collection of the most significant works of Saudi poetry from the 20th and 21st centuries. Since 2008, Al Mulla has served as the organizer and director of the Saudi Film Festival. Under his direction, the festival has grown rapidly, and has taken a leading role in nurturing the young Saudi film industry. Al Mulla is also the Director of the Saudi Culture and Arts Society, and has been a regular contributor to Al Sharq Newspaper. Al Mulla holds a B.A. in Literature from King Saud University.