If you ever wanted to experience Arabic and Arab-diaspora poetry, London’s Poetry International—at the Southbank Centre the beginning of this November—is the place to do it.
Featured poets include:
Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti and his Palestinian-Egyptian poet-son Tamim (the two will appear with acclaimed novelist Ahdaf Soueif, who translated Barghouti’s beautiful first memoir, I Saw Ramallah),
Palestinian-American poet Nathalie Handal and Palestinian-Dutch poet Ramsey Nasr (you can read an interview Handal conducted with Nasr on WWB; also Dar al Hayat yesterday reviewed Handal’s Love and Strange Horses),
Palestinian-American poet Lisa Suhair Majaj with Lebanese-American poet and memoirist Elmaz Abinader (and Paul Durcan and Paul Muldoon). Both Majaj and Abinader appeared in Banipal 38: Arab American Authors; Abinader’s current project is her memoir, The Water Cycle,
And…Adonis, appearing alongside Chinese poet Yang Lian.
More poetic events can be found on the Southbank Centre website, which says of this year’s festival:
Poetry International 2010 is about war and peace, with Palestine and the Middle East as a central focus. Join us for a week in the company of celebrated and emerging talent from around the world, reading, performing and translating poetry which transcends geographical faultlines and investigates the conflicts that haunt our history.
To follow Arab cultural events in London, stop by the “Arab in London” blog at http://arabinlondon.blogspot.com/. I am even more jealous now that I see the Chucho Valdes/Ibrahim Maalouf concert mid-November. Alas, with climate change baring its teeth, one can’t even wish for a private jet.