"Beirut / I dreamed you were invaded / and awoke to the noise of destruction"
Khaled Khalifa is set to arrive in Durham on January 11, 2021. During the term, he's expected to engage in literary activity with writers and readers in Durham, the North East of England, and other parts of the UK, in addition to pursuing his work-in-progress.
This poem first appeared in the British magazine The Wolf. It appears here -- to celebrate the life and writing of Fadwa Suleiman -- with permission.
"Raqqa is no longer the city I knew; I belong to a place that no longer exists. I try to get it back through writing."
"The divide among poets has added a diaspora to the spatial diaspora, which scattered Syrians around the world."
Syrian theatre artist Riad Ismat died earlier this month after contracting COVID-19 in Chicago, where he was part of Northwestern's "Scholars at Risk" program. He was 73.
"There was a skinny roughened hand buried in the dirt. It yearned for sun and rain, for the blue sky and the wind, and for years it crept slowly upward."
"The situation in Syria for the past decade has been complicated and confounding, and Ramy’s work emerges out of this confusion not to give us solutions but instead to bring us into it as well."
"I don’t know how many hours I’d spent in solitary confinement. I was alone with four cold silent walls. I couldn’t hear anyone’s voice in that gloomy cell, and I don’t think anyone could hear me."
"I tried with the second collection to publish in Damascus," al-Jabr said, "but the doors are closed."
"The subjects, the structures, and the writing style are different between my Arabic books and Kurdish ones."
"Because I, too, know that no one dies of love, / I live my life like a normal woman."