"Ongoing political turmoil may not bode well for Yemen, but if 2014 is any indication, the outlook for its national literary scene is a promising one."
The TEDxSana'a Book Club has established a small but vibrant book community in Yemen's largest city, as reported in the Yemen Times this week. Now they're looking to expand even more,
While she was in Iowa City, participating in the International Writing Program (IWP)'s fall 2013 residency, Yemeni poet and filmmaker Sawsan Al-Areeqe spoke with the program's "On the Map" series. The video interview was recently released on YouTube.
A recent Time article by Tik Root (@TikRoot) looks at "Yemen’s New Ways of Protesting Drone Strikes: Graffiti and Poetry." According to Root, a recent anti-drone poetry contest had as its prize $600 or "1% of the cost of a hellfire missile."
Last week, 34 established writers from around the world began to arrive in Iowa City to participate in the University of Iowa's 47th International Writing Program (IWP) residency. This year sees the program’s first-ever participants from Yemen (poet and filmmaker Sawsan Al-Areeqe) and Bahrain (poet, short-story writer, and essayist Ali Al Saeed). Kuwaiti writer Nada Faris will also join.
I suppose "Children's Magazines in the Yemen" doesn't have the same appealing ring as Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, but -- although Yemen doesn't actually have a salmon-fishing industry -- it really does have children's magazines, although not as many as a few decades ago: According to a report in this week's Yemen Times, even locally produced Arabic … Continue reading Children’s Magazines in the Yemen, Libraries in Egypt
The UK's Garnet Publishing announced this week that they have acquired world English rights to Yemeni novelist Wajdi al-Ahdal's بلد بلا سماء (A Land Without Sky), trans. William Hutchins as A Land without Jasmine. It's due to be published in the fall of 2012. Garnet says the book is "is a sexy, satirical detective story … Continue reading Wajdi al-Ahdal’s ‘A Land without Jasmine’ To Be Published in 2012
Last summer, newly minted Nobel Peace laureate Tawakul Karman told the Yemen Times that encouraging freedom of expression was "the first and far most important way to achieve change in a society." Yemeni poets and novelists, like its journalists, have struggled against internal and external censors. Perhaps the most well-known contemporary Yemeni novelist is Ali al-Muqri, whose … Continue reading In Honor of Tawakul Karman: Yemeni Literature
By Jennifer Sears The International Peace Institute at the United Nations in New York City inaugurated its “Arab Intellectual Series” this past week with a panel featuring Libyan novelist Hisham Matar and Yemeni novelist Ali Al-Muqri. The series aims to explore the role of Arab intellectuals, in particular novelists and poets, active in revolutionary events … Continue reading Hisham Matar and Ali Al-Muqri on Writing During a Revolution
Yet poetry, in its various forms, plays an important role in Yemeni society.
When I read from Susannah Tarbush that Yemeni intellectuals were boycotting the Sana'a book fair, I thought it an echo of the book-fair fracas in Kuwait.
Four men have won this year's Sultan Bin Al Owais Cultural Foundation Awards: a poet, a novelist, a critic, and Galal Amin. (I'm not sure what to call him. An economist? A cultural commentator? The author of What Ever Happened to the Egyptians?) Abdel Aziz Al Maqaleh, of Yemen, was the winning poet. His poetry … Continue reading Owais Awards Go to Al Maqaleh, Wattar, Al Masdi, and Amin