New Releases in March & April 2023: Poetry from Iraq and Sudan, a Historical Novel from Egypt

Book publication dates shift, and thus we are supplementing the annual list of forthcoming literature in translation with monthly lists, which we hope are more accurate. If you know of other works forthcoming this month, please add them in the comments or email us at

Select releases from March:

Something Evergreen Called Live, by Rania Mamoun, tr. Yasmine Seale (Action Books)

From the publisher: “After years of writing and organizing against the regime of Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese writer, journalist, and activist Rania Mamoun was finally forced to leave her country with her young daughters, taking refuge in a US city in the early throes of a pandemic. Confined to her new home, Mamoun embarked on a daily practice of writing out of which emerged these poems of loss, despair, and hope. Brought into English by Yasmine Seale with lyric agility and an ethic of care, Something Evergreen Called Life offers readers nightpiercing songs of exile and intimacy.”

Read an excerpt at Words Without Borders.


Fate the Hunter. Early Arabic Hunting Poems, ed. & tr. James E. Montgomery (Library of Arabic Literature)

From the publisher: “In the poems of Fate the Hunter, many of them translated into English for the first time, trained cheetahs chase oryx, and goshawks glare from falconers’ arms, while archers stalk their prey across the desert plains and mountain ravines of the Arabian peninsula. With this collection, James E. Montgomery, acclaimed translator of War Songs by ʿAntarah ibn Shaddād, offers a new edition and translation of twenty-six early works of hunting poetry, or ṭardiyyāt. Included here are poems by pre-Islamic poets such as Imruʾ al-Qays and al-Shanfarā, as well as poets from the Umayyad era such as al-Shamardal ibn Sharīk. The volume concludes with the earliest extant epistle about hunting, written by ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd al-Kātib, a master of Arabic prose.”


Suleiman’s Ring, by Sherif Meleka, tr. Raymond Stock (Hoopoe)

From the publisher: “Alexandria, Egypt, on the eve of the 1952 Free Officers revolution. Dawud, a struggling musician, is summoned with his best friend Sheikh Hassanein to a meeting with Lt. Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser, who seeks their help as he mobilizes for the revolution. Dawud lends Nasser an enchanted silver ring for its powers to bring good luck. The revolution succeeds but Dawud soon grows estranged from Hassanein, who has joined the Muslim Brotherhood, after he suggests that Dawud leave Egypt since as a Jew he is no longer welcome. When Hassanein is arrested, however, destiny draws Dawud into a complex web of sexual intrigue and betrayal that threatens to upend his already precarious existence. Set against the backdrop of the simmering political tensions of mid-twentieth-century Egypt and the Arab-Israeli wars, Sherif Meleka’s story of fate and fortune transports us to another time and place while peeling back the curtain on events that still haunt the country to this day.”

And new releases in April, 2023:

The Book of Trivialities by Majed Mujed, translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid (Skein Press)

From the publisher: “In a series of evocative vignettes, celebrated Iraqi poet Majed Mujed lyrically traverses the fraught landscapes of beauty, longing and resistance in a country at war. Intricately fusing political and personal histories,

“The Book of Trivialities speaks to the universal, undying quest for freedom that knows no borders or bounds. A profound, powerful sequence of verse from a poet who once lived through the heart of a revolution, and now lives for the revolutionary heart of love.”

The Beauty Hunters: Sudanese Bedouin Poetry, Evolution and Impact, by Adil Babikir, tr. the author

From the publisher: “The Beauty Hunters offers a rare insight into Sudanese Bedouin poetry, its evolution, aesthetics, and impact. Through an in-depth profile of al-Ḥārdallo, the doyen of this art form, Adil Babikir explores the attributes that established him as a poet of international stature. The life of al-Ḥārdallo was a series of journeys in pursuit of beauty. From wandering across the Buṭāna wilderness to his adventures with women, he documented the ups and downs of his life using superb verse. In addition to its aesthetic value, al-Ḥārdallo’s poetry offers rich material for Sudanese studies as it carries glimpses of the sociopolitical developments in Sudan during his lifetime, having lived through three distinct eras: Turco-Egyptian rule (1820–1885), Mahdist rule (1885–1898), and part of the Anglo-Egyptian era (1898–1956). Reading Bedouin poetry in a hybrid context, as a major contributor to what Babikir calls a uniquely Sudanese aesthetic taste, The Beauty Hunters makes an invaluable addition to the discourse on Sudan’s cultural identity.”

Read an excerpt here.