The Syrian poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Asbar) appeared last night in one of the culminating events of the London Poetry Festival. Adonis read along with translatorStephen Watts and fellow poet Yang Lian.
Which is was why I was particularly grateful that the British-Libyan poet, surgeon, and blogger Ghazi Gheblawi recorded his impressions of last night’s Tamim Barghouti, Mourid Barghouti, Ahdaf Soueif event via Twitter.
The first English-language collection of the work of Palestinian-Dutch poet Ramsey Nasr is now available in English. Heavenly Life is available from Banipal Books.
Among Adonis’ recent appearances at high-profile New York City venues including the 92 Street Y and Poets House was a reading and Q&A at Alwan for the Arts in Lower Manhattan. The evening began with a brief reading from the recently published Adonis: Selected Poems, featuring new translations in English by Khaled Mattawa. The predominantly Arabic-speaking audience responded vocally to Adonis’ dramatic recitations and Mattawa’s skilled translations.
Adonis is still working on poetry, but next—his memoirs.
Rare Arabic Books in Cairo + /NYTimes/ Reviews /Love and Strange Horses/ + the Newest Translator of Arabic Poetry? Google
Al Masry Al Youm: The Bidoun Library at Townhouse Q: Where can you find a Palestinian children’s book from 1974 titled Home, Arabic comic books from the last 60 years (including the current and innovative graphic-novel magazine Samandal), Yara al-Sherbini’s… Read More ›
It’s no longer Nobel season, but Adonis has a new book coming out in the U.S., so another flutter of press is to be expected. Yesterday’s piece in the NY Times followed the Syrian-French poet on a visit to a class that (his translator) Khaled Mattawa teaches at the University of Michigan.
Relatively little English-language scholarship exists about Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawky, who was not only a significant poet and playwright (and song-writer), but also a social leader and anti-colonialist who was exiled from Egypt by the British for five years.
“First of all, I can’t write poetry in any other language. Impossible. I have to write in Arabic because each language has its own history and Arabic is my history. I consider Arabic to be the most beautiful language.”
Sinan Antoon has a new Boulus translation in today’s Jadaliyya: “The Corpse”. Coming on the heels of the Nobel-lit three-ring circus (who will it be? it should be Adonis! it should be…!), the poem made me reflect on how little-known the towering, excellent Boulus is in English—outside of Banipal readers.
Yesterday, Anis Shivani had a long interview in The Huffington Post with poet and translator Marilyn Hacker. For those unfamiliar with Hacker’s work, she has won both the United States’ National Book Award (for her Presentation Piece) and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (Marie Etienne’s King of a Hundred Horsemen).
If you’re looking for it, there are a number of places to seek out excellent Arab American poets. They are celebrated individually (Khaled Mattawa just won a major poetry award) and as a group, as in the most recent Banipal (38).