Not exactly “beach reading,” but you could peruse these on your phone as you listen to the waves.
Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
In Jadaliyya’s summer “culture bouquet,” they feature the Iraqi poet’s “Whorehouse,” trans. Levi Thompson. (You can read the original here.)
Also from the “culture bouquet” (a great one this season), a poem by the great Boulus trans. Suneela Mubayi
Also in the summer “culture bouquet,” the Syrian poet’s “Roman Amphitheatres,” trans. Ahmad Diab, from the poet’s East of Eden, West of God.
Qatari poet, serving a 15-year sentence at Doha Central Prison for “inciting the overthrow of the ruling regime” and “criticizing the Emir” in two of his poems, managed to record and send out a poem from prison last month. It’s been translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid.
The new website “Political Arabic Poetry” promises that, over the course of the next few weeks, they will be releasing a collection of nine English translations of poems originally written in Arabic, featuring works by Amal Dunqul, Ahmed Fuad Negm, Ahmed Matar, Mahmoud Darwish, and Sayyid Qutb. (The last one’s a bit of a curveball, but okay.) The project begins with Matar:
The New Statesman has published two poems by al-Karmy, trans. Liz Lochhead. They can both be found in the new collection of Palestinian poetry, A Bird is Not a Stone. You can find out more about the project on the book’s blog.