“You cross the bridge suspended over the canal. Colored ships slowly glide across the surface of blue waters below. Now and then, from beyond the hills of fine sand, a date palm emerges, a village, some people. Fish dart across the lake and a swarthy, dusty child poses for the camera, stick in hand.”
The grant has allowed Smokestack to pay a small contributors’ fee of £10 a page, but the crowdfunding campaign seeks to “increase this fee to a more professional rate; to cover design and printing costs for the book; and to raise money toward the legal fees of Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour, both currently imprisoned, respectively in Saudi Arabia and Israel, on charges related to their poetry.”
“when the night’s at its peak and the dark’s full of rain,
and the wet silence roils like a fierce hurricane”
Through the program, writers from eight countries, covering twelve languages, will receive mentoring, professional development, and financial assistance.
My sister screamed in the night
Take me to my brother’s house
And there she screamed that same night
No no! Take me back to the house of my father
and marble like ivory
with daylight dwindling
till shadows swallow
and three lifts to the left.
Desire builds a nest
Between the branches of my love.
It sings like a bulbul, night and day
And sweeps through me like fire through straw.
Levi Thompson is working with Syrian poet Ramy al-Asheq, currently based in Germany, on translating a collection of his poems. Here, Thompson shares one translation and thoughts on bringing al-Asheq’s work into English: By Levi Thompson Ramy al-Asheq’s poetry lays… Read More ›
I am Me…
A storm of angry waves at sunset,
Its breathing strangled in the grip of the winds.
But as I draw near the question pulls away,
And I keep on asking: “Who am I?”
“She died, but no lips shook, no cheeks turned white
no doors heard her death tale told and retold,
no blinds were raised for small eyes to behold
the casket as it disappeared from sight.”
“Being naturally bilingual, you already inhabit this in-between kind of space. And hearing my poetry in my mother tongue, it feels very different.”
“I did not find Saniya Saleh in Cairo.”