Lit & Found: Six in Translation by Palestinian Poet Olivia Elias

In celebration of the November publication of Chaos, Crossing, written by Olivia Elias and translated from French to English by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, we have gathered six poems by the celebrated Palestinian poet. Four are from Chaos, Crossing and the other two from her Ton nom de Palestine, translated to English by Sarah Riggs and Jérémy Robert.

Elias was born in Haifa and lived as a refugee in Beirut, where her family moved after being forced into exile. She attended university in Canada before moving to France in the early 1980s. Although Elias has been a writer for some time, it was only recently that she decided to publish.

She is author of several collections: Je suis de cette bande de sable (May 2013, out of print), L’espoir pour seule protection (introduction by Philippe Tancelin, éditions alfabarre, February 2015), Ton nom de Palestine (éditions al Manar, January 2017) and Chaos, Traversée (La feuille de thé éditeur, 2019). 

Translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid:

Sign Language I

Sign Language II


Barca Nostra, 19 December 2019

Translated by Sarah Riggs and Jérémy Robert:

From Your Name, Palestine

Another excerpt from Your Name, Palestine