October is the Month for Palestinian Literary Events in NYC

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to have missed the opportunity to declare October “Palestinian Literature Month,” (there were other things going on, I guess), but nonetheless, the month is happily crammed with Palestinian novels, poetry, films, retrospectives, and other events. The more you can get to, the better.


Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan will be at three venues in New York City October 17-18 with Palestinian-American translator (and poet) Fady Joudah.

Alwan for the Arts is hosting the launch of Hala Alyan’s new poetry collection, Atrium (2012, Three Rooms Press). See Alyan read. Another video hereOctober 25, 7 p.m.

You can also see Alyan read at Le Poisson Rouge today. Wednesday, October 3, 6:30 p.m.


Alwan is also hosting a US launch of Palestinian-British novelist Selma Dabbagh’s  Out of It. Let’s see, I reviewed Out of It for EI and am writing another, longer piece about it currently. Tuesday October 23 at 7 p.m.


ArteEast is celebrating the films of Yousry Nasrallah with a retrospective, including the film adaptation of Elias Khoury’s Gate of the Sun. Khoury is, of course, Lebanese (and Nasrallah Egyptian), but Gate of the Sun is engaged with Palestinian history and landscape. Saturday, October 20, 6 p.m. (Part 1) & 8 p.m. (Part 2). Also Sunday, October 21, 3 p.m. (Part 1) & 5 p.m. (Part 2) 

And if you can get all the way to Boston, they’re having the Sixth Annual Boston Palestine Film Festival October 5-13. (I realize that Boston isn’t New York, but…hrm.)  Official website here.


Poets House is hosting an evening in honor of the poet Taha Muhammad Ali, with Peter Cole, Adina Hoffman (author of a moving biography of the poet), Edward Hirsch, Palestinian poet and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye, Gerald Stern, Jim Haba, Eliot Weinberger, Michael Wiegers and Peter Gizzi. On the first anniversary of the death of this major Palestinian writer, Poets House celebrates his life and work with readings, reminiscences, audio and video clips. October 16, 7 p.m.


Tennis in Nablus,” by playwright Ismail Khalidi. At Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Thursday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m. Although I know you are interested in Palestine, still, David Samel says: “Someone with no interest in the history of Palestine would find this play quite entertaining. This is great theater.”