Lit & Found: Bouchaib Gadir’s ‘Small Dreams,’ ‘The Stranger,’ ‘Joy’

For Asymptote journal, Ghada Mourad and Kareem James Abu-Zeid have co-translated (at least) three poems by Bouchaib Gadir

Gadir, an American-Moroccan poet, is a professor in the Department of French and Italian at Tulane University. His poetry collection Les lettres de La Nouvelle-Orléans was published in 2017, and his latest collection of poetry, Petits rêves, appeared from Editions Non Lieu (Paris) in June of this year.

Gadir’s “Small Dreams” appears in the most recent issue of Asymptote, while his “The Stranger” and “Joy” appeared in Two Lines, also in a Mourad & Abu-Zeid co-translation.

In a recent talk about his poetry, Gadir said, “The poems I will be reciting tell stories about immigrants, displaced and marginalized, in New Orleans, Spain, and France. These poems are a display of mixed emotion, loneliness, and marginalization felt by migrants with a sense of belonging to a host land or to their native cultures. While marking contrasts between immigrants’ dreams and the harsh realities where they find themselves, these poems are written in the spirit of solidarity with women’s conditions, immigration, and minority populations in the hope to make the world a better place for all.”

“The Stranger” opens: “The source of love opened / And a lily emerged. / Then the lily closed. / The source opened again / And a narcissus emerged. / Then the narcissus closed. / The source opened once more / And a scar emerged.”

Watch Gadir read “The Stranger”: