Free Qatari Poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami

I signed the French version of this a couple days ago, but will also now sign the English version. Please do the same — there are indeed places in the world where you can get sentenced to life for a poem: World’s Poets Seek to Free Poet Given Life Sentence For Immediate Release, December 18, 2012 Contact: Michael Rothenberg of 100 Thousand Poets for Change David Swanson … Read more Free Qatari Poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami

Nostalgia, My Enemy

Saadi Youssef, born in 1934 in Basra, Iraq, has lived in exile for some 30 years now — currently in London, England. Mahmood Darwish has called him a major influence, saying that “Saadi Youssef, whose poetry is in dialogue with the history of popetry, is like no other Arab poet… I was enchanted by his complex simplicity in its search for the poetics of minutiae in the prose of … Read more Nostalgia, My Enemy

Diwan Iffrikyia is Here!

Poems for the Millennium, Volume Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature Pierre Joris (Editor), Habib Tengour (Editor) order HERE In this fourth volume of the landmark Poems for the Millennium series, Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour present a comprehensive anthology of the written and oral literatures of the Maghreb, the region of North Africa that spans the modern nation states of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, and including a section … Read more Diwan Iffrikyia is Here!


Long live the right to stand up to injustice: Check out Bahia Shehab’s stunning presentation of A Thousand Times No on Ted. A project that started before the Arab spring as an art project,in the Khatt Foundation exhibition Letters off the Page at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, ends up as a true call for action on the streets! and then presented at TED! Now that is something to … Read more A THOUSAND TIMES NO ON TED

Hala Mohammad: Waiting for Spring

Via aljazeera’s “Artscape” series Poets of Protest: Exiled in Paris, the Syrian poet despairs for her country as the crisis there deepens. Renowned and outspoken Syrian poet Hala Mohammad explains how she thinks poetry is central to the political change underway in the Middle East, and especially to the fight against Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. Her work is respected for tackling memory, fear, alienation and loneliness and they are … Read more Hala Mohammad: Waiting for Spring

Al Jazeera “Poets of Protest” Series

Al Jazeera’s “Poets of Protest” series — which promises to document the lives and landscapes of Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, Syrian Hala Mohammed, Lebanese Yehia Jaber (another video of Jaber here), Iraqi Manal al-Sheikh, Palestinian Mazen Maarouf, and Algerian al-Khadra — is set to begin tomorrow. Arab Literature (in English) blog has this to say on the series: The first “Artscape” portrait will be of vernacular poet Fouad Negm, who was also recently featured in a disappointing Egyptian … Read more Al Jazeera “Poets of Protest” Series

Euro-Mediterranean Translation: a Mapping

Arab Literature (in English) brought my attention to this study of translation: Mapping Translation: Into and Out of Arabic by mlynxqualey The big study that resulted from a number of translation reports — into and out of Arabic, Turkish, and Hebrew — is now available on the Anna Lindh Foundation’s website: “A Mapping of Translation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.” Anna Lindh folks note in the release: “The study takes into account the … Read more Euro-Mediterranean Translation: a Mapping

Writers in Syria

This in via the Arab Literature (in English) site, where you can also read the rest of the article, and a further range of materials concerning Arab literature in translation, such as their previous post detailing what new books translated from Arabic are coming out this year. In Praise of … Khaled Khalifa Posted on June 1, 2012 by mlynxqualey | Leave a comment Even after being beaten last Saturday, and having his left hand broken, Syrian novelist … Read more Writers in Syria

PEN Presses for Visa for Palestinian Poet

from th PEN Advocacy pages: April 4, 2012 | Larry Siems Yesterday, we got word through our Translation Committee that Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan , whose collection Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me is being released by Yale University Press this month, is still waiting for a visa to travel to the U.S. for a planned two-week book tour. The tour was to kick off yesterday with an event featuring Zaqtan and Fady Joudah, his translator, … Read more PEN Presses for Visa for Palestinian Poet

Finding Bayt Across Borders of Stone

A very moving tribute to Anthony Shadid (& simultaneously an excellent review of Shadid’s memoir House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East) by Syrian writer Amal Hanano, published yesterday in Jadaliyya. Below the opening paragraphs. You could read the full article here. [Cover of House of Stone, by Anthony Shadid.] No roads, not a single one, lead to the place where we had gotten ourselves.*  … Read more Finding Bayt Across Borders of Stone