In the Indiana Review, poets Zeina Hashem Beck and janan alexandra talk about Hashem Beck’s forthcoming collection of poems, O; on writing in Arabic and English, and Hashem Beck’s soon-to-be-launched podcast:

Zeina Hashem Beck on writing poems to beloved singers:

Photo credit: Veronica Maria

I wrote the poems for the singers of the Arab world that you mention at a time where their music helped me grieve and dance. Their music is one of the homes I carry with me wherever I go. And you know when you listen to a song and it resonates, and you are deeply moved (sometimes to tears, sometimes to think differently about something)? Yes, that’s what poems should do (for me, at least). 

And on her forthcoming podcast:

I’ve been working on a podcast in Arabic about Arabic poetry, titled Maksouda; the project was an idea in my head for a couple of years, and I’m extremely excited to be working on it with friend and poet Farah Chamma and the network Sowt. Recording this podcast, and doing so in Arabic (to go back to the convo about the many languages that intersect in us) has been feeding my soul! 

Read the whole talk at the Indiana Review.

2 thoughts on “Friday Finds: ‘Music Is One of the Homes I Carry With Me Wherever I Go’

  1. What a refreshing interview! Some of the most enduring songs in Arabic were written by poets whose body cells were musical notes–ٍSayed Darwish, Rahbani brothers, Nizar Qabbani, .. and to write poems in English and Arabic should make a dent on the persistent stereotyping of Arabic as a “controversial” language.


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