Each of the 13 winning translators will receive $2,800 help them finish their project.
“You emerge from behind the scenes, I emerge from behind the nightmares, smiling as if the war hasn’t eaten my brother, and in those days, when my Syrian friends were dying under torture, my European friends were gently withdrawing from my wound which scratched their white lives and didn’t conform in any way to accepted Western criteria of what constitutes pain.”
“My grandfather, Husni Fariz, was the poet laureate of Jordan. I used to relish the chance to sit at his desk and “write poems,” terrible poems in Arabic, ones that tried desperately to rhyme.”
“Other labels we pick apart are ‘Literature of Resistance’ and ‘Poets of the South in Lebanon’ as examples of this labeling process that is motivated by extra-literary imperatives.”
Bustani’s poems, in El Rayyes’ translation, first appeared in the winter 2017 issue of ‘The Poetry Review,’ and the film was premiered at the launch of the winter issue this month.
His fourth collection of poetry, A Bull in a Jungle, was published a year after his death in Damascus in 1982. The collection ends with a poem titled “Habit,” with a final line that reads, “I have grown accustomed to awaiting you, O Revolution.”
“I have always felt this inclination to what’s being written in other languages, not necessarily by the well-known names. Translation is crucial for the common imagination, for mutual understanding among human beings. What comes from the imagination belongs to everybody.”
“If a translation wins the prize, it is the translator who will receive the $500, 10 copies of the chapbook, and the residency.”
The work being translated will be by Ameer Alhussein, Basma Abdel Aziz, and Kadhem Khanjar.
“time is broad
hatching its eggs
those of ill-health”
“How do I kill the light in mine?”
“In this wonderful debut collection, Peter Twal impersonates himself: the gifted American poet in his best suit in the gala of originality.”