But Anglo poetry is only unambitious and audience-lacking if we fail to consider its primarily oral forms. Arabic poetry, meanwhile, seems to be facing a divergence between written and oral forms.
Today on Jadaliyya, Sinan Antoon published translations of two Rashid Hussein poems to mark Youm al-Ard, or Palestinian Land Day.
Assembly Journal, for their “five books” series, asked me to come up with a list of five Arabic books. The field was too dizzyingly wide.
Even when I narrowed my topic to “memoirs and not-quite-memoirs,” it was a difficult winnowing process: What about Galal Amin’s Nectar of the Years? Well, it hasn’t been translated into English, so that’s that, I suppose. Sayyid Qutb or Huda Shaarawi’s memoirs, for their historical and political importance? Taha Hussein’s classic The Days? (But hasn’t everyone already read The Days?)
Yesterday, the great Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish would have been seventy years old.
Ziad Suidan, PhD Candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is translating eighteen poems by Mahmoud Darwish as part of his dissertation. Sofia Samatar, a doctoral student in UW’s Department of African Languages and Literature, talked to him about the project.
Yesterday on The Huffington Post, Anis Shivani introduced three emerging poets who have books scheduled for release in early 2011. One of them was the Palestinian-American poet Deema Shehabi, whose debut collection, Thirteen Departures from the Moon, is set to come out from Press 53 in March.
Over at Ron Slate’s website, On the Seawall, he asked nineteen poets to recommend new and recent titles for holiday gift-giving purposes.
While I certainly respect the sentiment, readers over at ArabLit are free to buy the below-listed books for themselves.
In Mahmoud Darwish’s Journal of an Ordinary Grief–published in 1973 as Yawmiyyat al-Huzn al-‘Adi and now available in English translation–the narrator shapes his personal, Palestinian memories against the insistent push of Israeli and Western-dominated history. The book thus presents itself not as an official record, but as a collection of individual wounds.
This week’s major holiday—in your life, I’m sure, as in mine—was International Translation Day! PierenePress did a heroic job of twittercasting live from PEN’s translation-day events; I certainly hope they write a few wrap-up thoughts about the discussions on their… Read More ›
Palestinian-American poet Fady Joudah (who I thought should’ve made the Beirut39, but never mind) has won this year’s 2010 PEN USA Literary Award for translation for his rendition of Mahmoud Darwish’s If I Were Another. مبروك, ya Fady! Joudah was… Read More ›
If you want your own Ahmad Yamani—in print, in English—you can of course pick the Beirut 39 collection (which features a few of his early works), or head back to issue No. 32 of Banipal. Or you can hop around… Read More ›