Fady Joudah Wins 2010 PEN USA Literary Award

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 also a finalist for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his translation of Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden.

In the creative nonfiction category, Arab-American author Gregory Orfalea was one of the finalists for his Angeleno Days: An Arab American Writer on Family, Place, and Politics (the winner was Vicki Forman’s This Lovely Life).

Celebrate with Joudah by partaking of his translation of “If I Were Another,” which begins:

If I were another on the road, I would not have looked
back, I would have said what one traveler said
to another: Stranger! awaken
the guitar more! Delay our tomorrow so our road
may extend and space may widen for us, and we may get rescued
from our story together: you are so much yourself … and I am
so much other than myself right here before you!