Ghassan Zaqtan’s Canadian Visa

Last week I was in Glasgow, waiting for Algerian poet Habib Tengour as we were supposed to do a joint poetry reading and a shared presentation of our anthology of North African Literature at the University of Glasgow. Tengour never made it because he never received his visa for the UK, & his passport was returned to him too late for a planned trip to Algeria for a conference. And now … Read more Ghassan Zaqtan’s Canadian Visa

Qatari Poet’s Sentence Not Overturned, Cut to 15 Years

This just in, via Arab Literature (in English) blog by mlynxqualey  The Qatari appeals court today reduced the sentence of Mohammed al-Ajami, the poet jailed for his work, from life in prison to a long stint of 15 years. According to Al Jazeera, as the news outlet now appears to be covering the case, al-Ajami ”shouted insults at the courtroom and against the government of the Gulf state as he left the Doha court surrounded by … Read more Qatari Poet’s Sentence Not Overturned, Cut to 15 Years

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 http://rootsaction.org Contact: Michael Rothenberg of 100 Thousand Poets for Change walterblue@earthlink.net David Swanson … Read more Free Qatari Poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami

Simon Ortiz: Shocked at banning of Native books in Arizona

Photo: Ethnic Studies students march in honor of Martin Luther King today, Monday, in Tucson, protesting the decision by Tucson schools to forbid Mexican American Studies and ban books by Chicano and Native American authors. Photo Brenda Norrell Update: Video interviews with students in the forbidden classes, during today’s Martin Luther King Day rally in Tucson: http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com TUCSON — Simon Ortiz, world acclaimed poet, author and professor, responded to the … Read more Simon Ortiz: Shocked at banning of Native books in Arizona

A Call from Syrian Writers

Transmission of the call addressed to all poets and writers in the world إحالة نداء إلى كافة الروائيين والشعراء والنقاد في العالم Check out the video before reading the text and thank you for your signatures   The Syrian revolution 2011 تاريخ  الثورة السورية الحديث http://www.facebook.com/l/f966dz7Sw-ad02KT1gP0ZTb4v6g/www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzvduDVjdyA   We, Syrian writers, endorsing the previous call that our friends the filmmakers addressed to their colleagues in the world, are addressing this call for … Read more A Call from Syrian Writers

NY Times: After Reversal, Honor Is Likely for Kushner

Here, the opening paragraphs of today’s NY Times article on CUNY’s reversal in re Tony Kushner (you can read the full article here): After Reversal, Honor Is Likely for Kushner By WINNIE HU Published: May 6, 2011 Under mounting pressure, the City University of New York board of trustees moved on Friday to reverse its decision earlier this week to withhold an honorary degree from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner because of one … Read more NY Times: After Reversal, Honor Is Likely for Kushner

Tony Kushner’s Response

Tony Kushner c/o Heat & Light Co., Inc. 119 West 72nd Street #193 New York, NY 10023   The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York 535 East 80th Street New York, NY 10075 cc: President Jeremy Travis The faculty and students of John Jay College of Criminal Justice 899 Tenth Avenue New York, NY, 10019 May 4, 2011 To Chairperson Benno Schmidt and the Board … Read more Tony Kushner’s Response

CUNY nixes Kushner honorary degree over anti-Israel statements

Tony Kushner This was brought to my attention by Marilyn Hacker’s watchful eye in Paris, & comes from the JTA website, here. A more detailed article can be found on the site of The Jewish Week, here. May 4, 2011 (JTA) — The City University of New York has voted not to honor playwright Tony Kushner with an honorary degree at its commencement after a board member objected, citing the Pulitzer Prize winner’s … Read more CUNY nixes Kushner honorary degree over anti-Israel statements

Protest Media Law in Hungary

I received the following email yesterday, asking for support for Bela Tarr and other Hungarian film artists, organizing resistance to impending legislation in Hungary that would allow the government total control of what the media may or may not make public. I’m appending all the info as well as the letter of support Tarr & friends have been sending out, and the signatures gathered so far. Dear Mr. Joris, I received the attached protest letter … Read more Protest Media Law in Hungary

The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention

Glenn Greenwald’s report in Salon: Reuters/Jonathon Burch/AP/Salon (updated below – Update II) Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime.  Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — … Read more The Inhumane Conditions of Bradley Manning’s Detention