Launch of 7-Volume ‘Collected Poetical Works of Saadi Youssef’

For those in London on June 24:

saadi_youssefWorld-renowned Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef will be in conversation with The Mosaic Rooms’ Omar Al-Qattan about his work and will give a reading of his poetry. According to Banipal and Mosaic Rooms organizers, a special guest will read selected translations in English.

The event is set to begin at 7 p.m.


The launch of these volumes of Youssef’s collected works, presented by publisher and poet Khalid al-Maaly, will include a reception and a signing session.

According to BanipalYoussef writes:

The seven volumes of my poetical works contain what I have written between ‎‎1952 and 2014. They represent a life’s journey that is rich in hope, dangers and ‎departures and is also a journey on the long road of art. Whosoever is interested in the ‎aesthetics of contemporary Arabic poetry can trace my many steps in these ‎volumes.‎ It has been my good fortune to have lived a long life, to experiment ceaselessly ‎and to continue doing so until now.

Two collections of Youssef’s work — Nostalgia, My Enemy (trans. Sinan Antoon, Peter Money) and Without an Alphabet, Without a Face (trans. Khaled Mattawa) — are available in English.

Read Saadi Youssef’s poetry in English translation:

From Jadaliyya, three poems translated by Sinan Antoon: Fulfillment, Conversation, and O Nostalgia: My enemy.

From Banipal 15/16, Elsinore, Hamlet’s Castle, translated by Sargon Boulus.

From Words Without Borders, seven poems translated by Khaled Mattawa: Five Crosses, The Bird’s Last Flight, Koofa, A Shiver, The Jazz Corner, Departure ‘82 and Silence.

From The Poetry Center, three poems, also translated by Khaled Mattawa: Solos on the Oud, The New Baghdad and Poetry.

From Blue Moon Review, two poems translated by Mattawa: Shatt Al-Arab and Thank You Imru Ul-Qais.

From Poems About War, translated by Khaled Mattawa, from America, America.

More poems (in English translation and in Arabic) on Saadi Youssef’s website.

Reflections, interviews, and reviews:

Saadi Youssef’s Language, ‘The Language Used By All’ 

An Interview with Saadi Youssef: By Joy E. Stocke

Khaled al-Maaly: Poetry Worldwide Has No Boundaries 

Ask the Poem