April 2016: Global Arab and Arabic Literature Events

A calendar of Arab and Arabic literary art events in some form of translation:

March 31

Alef’s Monthly Arabic Book Club: Grandma Hissa’s Mice (London, England)

From Alef: “We are starting a new Arabic Book Club, which will meet monthly at our store in Baker Street, London. The first meeting will be at the end of March, we made a vote and the book chosen for the meetup is (Fe’ran Omy Hessa) by Seoud Alsanousi.

“Join us to discuss the book and evaluate the author’s perception and his way of writting.” Details here.

Egyptian Arts Festival D-Caf (Cairo, Egypt)

Runs from March 31- April 22, it will feature — among many other things — a discussion with Egyptian playwright Laila Soliman. Details here.

April 2

Elmaz Abinader Reads at AWP Off-site (Los Angeles, USA)

With other Willow Books authors. Details here.

April 4

Staging of ‘The Siege’ and Opening of Theatre Festival & Forum (Jenin, Palestine)

The Siege, one of The Freedom Theatre’s most successful productions to date, will be re-staged during the theatre’s ten-year anniversary celebrations in April 2016. The Siege will be performed at The Freedom Theatre on April 4 and 5, at 17:00. Festival and forum continue through April 9. Details here.

Khaled Khalifa (Naples, Italy)

The great Syrian author celebrates the launch of his latest book. Details here.

April 5

Khaled Khalifa (Rome, Italy)

The great Syrian author celebrates the launch of his latest book. Details here.

April 7

Khaled Khalifa (Rome, Italy)

The great Syrian author celebrates the launch of his latest book. Details here.

April 8

Khaled Khalifa (Florence, Italy)

The great Syrian author celebrates the launch of his latest book. Details here.

April 9

Khaled Khalifa (Milan, Italy)

The great Syrian author celebrates the launch of his latest book. Details here.

Jordanian Writer Hisham Bustani at the Uskudar Poetry Festival (Istanbul, Turkey)

Festival’s opening day. Details here.

April 10

The Golden Age of Islamic Poetry: A Workshop (Opa-locka, USA)

Led by poet Patrick Cox. Details here.

Jordanian Writer Hisham Bustani at the Uskudar Poetry Festival (Istanbul, Turkey)

At NevMekan. Details here.

April 12

An Overview of Emirati Literature (London, England)

Mohammed Al Murr, a renowned short story writer from the United Arab Emirates, with two collections translated into English, talks about Emirati Literature today. Mr. Al Murr is also Head of the Dubai Cultural Council. In conversation with Bill Swainson, Literary Consultant. To be held from 1-2pm at the London Book Fair’s Literature Translation Centre.

Book Launch: Hisham Bustani’s “The Perception of Meaning” in Translation (Amman, Jordan)

Jordan’s National Gallery of Fine Arts will host the launch of The Perception of Meaning — recipient of the 2014 University of Arkansas Arabic Translation Award, for Bustani and Thoraya El-Rayyes — and recently published in a bilingual edition. Details here.

April 13

Kick-off Event of ‘Split This Rock’ Poetry Festival (Washington, DC, USA)

Featuring Iraqi poet Amal al-Jubouri, among others. Details here.

April 18

Postcolonial Studies and Modern Arabic Literature (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Convened by Wail Hassan and Robert Young, this “conference brings together eminent literary scholars and critics to consider the relevance of postcolonial theory to modern Arabic literature, the translation of Euro-American theory into Arabic, the shortcomings of such theory that attention to modern Arabic literature reveals, the ways in which contemporary Arabic criticism can dialog with Euro-American literary theory, and the limits and opportunities of the postcolonial paradigm as a gateway into “world literature” as a network of circulation and reading.” Through April 19. Details here.

April 21

Arabic Poetry Conference at Boise State University (Boise, USA)
3-5pm. Panel: On Arab Literature Today.
3-4: MAGHREB: Pierre Joris & Habib Tengour present Poems for the millennium Maghreb Anthology
4-5: MASHREQ: Panel by Alomar and Kareem to discuss the situation of poetry in the Mashreq. Panel joined by Habib Tengour & Pierre Joris. Bishop Barnwell Room (Capacity 120)
6-8pm.  Poetry Reading by Mona Kareem & Osama Alomar, followed by Q & A. Jordan AB Ballroom (Capacity 250)

April 22

Arabic Poetry Conference at Boise State University (Boise, USA)

3-5pm. Panel: On Translating Arab Literature
Mona Kareem, Osama Alomar & Habib Tengour.  Moderator: Pierre Joris
Forum Room (Capacity 48)
6-9pm .Poetry Reading by_Pierre Joris & Habib Tengour, followed by Q & A.

Simplot AC Ballroom (Capacity 250)

April 25

Arabic Shakespeare: Three Lessons (Bristol, England)

“Why and how have Arab writers and theatre directors since 1900 deployed Shakespeare’s plays? Where did they get their Shakespeare to begin with? Setting aside the clichés about Shakespeare’s alleged “universality,” this talk explores several episodes from the Arab Shakespeare tradition to show how they can illuminate not only the Arab theatre world but, more broadly, the interplay between international art forms, local expressive needs, and the historically weighted ties between modern literary cultures.” Details here.

April 26

Winner of International Prize for Arabic Fiction Announced (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Read more about the shortlist.

“Forgive Me, Lev Nikolaevich!” Tolstoy and his Arab Readers (Bristol, England)

“Attracted to the Orient and ambivalent about European modernity, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) made a perhaps paradoxical bearer of modern literary forms. Why, then, did Arab readers receive him as a great harbinger of social and artistic progress? Why did the Mufti of Egypt write to inform him, “The light of your thought has illuminated us, and the suns of your ideas have risen in our skies”? Why did The Kreutzer Sonata, a bizarre polemical novella, get translated into Arabic long before any of Tolstoy’s other fiction? On Tolstoy’s death in 1910, why did Arab poets compete to eulogize him? And how did later Arab writers deploy his oeuvre and his personal legacy? Attending to the contingencies and ironies that mark all international literary reception, this talk will explore some of the resources that Tolstoy’s long and tangled career offered to would-be modernizers of Arab societies and Arabic literature.” Details here. 

Author Saleem Haddad (New York City, USA)

Second Tuesday Lecture: Reading from Guapa, a presentation, and a Q&A. Details here.

April 27

Opening of 2016 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Set to run through May 3. Details here.

Author Saleem Haddad (New York City, USA)

Literary Quest: Will be reading from Guapa, alongside other writers as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. Details here.

April 28

Launch of The Dust of Promises by Ahlem Mosteghanemi (London, England)

Launch of the English translation of Mosteghanemi’s The Dust of Promises at Alef UK. The author will be there. Details here.

April 30

Authors Saleem Haddad and Abdella Taia (New York City, USA)

The Fictional Other. Will be appearing alongside Abdella Taia and Alexandre Vidal Porto in a panel discussion that is part of the PEN World Voices Festival. Details here.



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