Valentine’s Day is just two days off. Nothing yet to scribble in your card?
On February 27 in London, poets from around the world will gather in support of imprisoned Qatari poet Mohammad al-Ajami, who is currently serving a 15-year sentence for his work.
“I seem to hear Hughes’s poem everywhere in my version of Abū Nuwās.”
“It all came together, the god messenger, patron of smugglers and thieves (LuSuuS) and (ro’aat) shepherds, and it’s the dawn of the age of avatars, and I am ripe for taking on a persona.”
Egyptian poet Maged Zaher has translated another work by the slain poet Shaimaa El-Sabbagh. This one was recorded on video and has been watched more than a hundred thousand times in the last week.
Dozens of Arab poets are getting ready to travel to Dubai for the next round of Prince of Poets interviews. Although Prince of Poets may have the biggest purse, televised competitive poetry isn’t a new thing.
Shaimaa El-Sabbagh, the activist who was shot dead at a rally in Tahrir Square yesterday, was also a poet.
Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh has now gone more than a year without trial in Saudi prisons on the ostensible charge that he’s been “insulting the Godly self” through his poetry “and having long hair.”
Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh was arrested by Saudi authorities on January 1, 2014 — charged with “insulting the Godly self and having long hair” — and has yet to face trial.
There were at least nine contemporary Arabic poetry collections published in translation this year, a number of them stunning, ground-breaking, beautifully produced.
Yesterday, poet and translator Khaled Mattawa was on NPR’s “Here & Now,” talking about poetry and translation, and most of all how translation has informed his own work.
Issue 51 of Banipal magazine focuses on pioneering Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef, who was born in 1934 near Basra.