On October 6, the American Literary Translators Association held a bilingual reading series focused on Arabic, Turkish, and Persian texts:
The first was “The Blind Cart” by Palestinian poet Nasser Rabah, translated by Julie Yelle and Joanna Chen, read by Julie Yelle.
Other poems by Rabah available online include “Heart with Windows but No Doors,” translated by Saleh Razzouk and Philip Terman, as well as two poems translated by Chen in Consequence and two more poems in Oomph Anthology. Chen also wrote an essay about her friendship with Rabah for LARB, “Gazelle in Gaza.”
Yelle’s reading of Nasser Rabah was followed by Paula Haydar, Nadine Sinno, and Jabbour Douaihy reading from the Arabic and English versions of Douaihy’s شريد المنازل, which was shortlisted for the 2012 International Prize for Arabic Fiction; a translation by Stephanie Dujols won the 2013 Prix de la Jeune Litterature Arabe.
Several of Douaihy’s novels have already appeared in English translation, three by Haydar: Autumn Equinox was translated by Nay Hannawi, while Douaihy’s June Rain, The American Neighborhood, and Printed in Beirut were all translated by Haydar.
Their reading was followed by Karolina Dejnicka reading a translation of Orhan Veli Kanik’s “If I Could Only Set Sail to the Wind,” from the Turkish, and Niloufar Talebi reading selected poetry by Ahmad Shamlou translated from the Persian.
There are several more Arabic language ALTA events, and a Kurdish-language event, still to come.