Yemen’s Anti-drone Poetry Contest

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."

Iowa’s International Writing Program Sees First Participants from Yemen, Bahrain

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.

Children’s Magazines in the Yemen, Libraries in Egypt

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

Wajdi al-Ahdal’s ‘A Land without Jasmine’ To Be Published in 2012

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

In Honor of Tawakul Karman: Yemeni Literature

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

Hisham Matar and Ali Al-Muqri on Writing During a Revolution

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

Owais Awards Go to Al Maqaleh, Wattar, Al Masdi, and Amin

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

Banipal 36: The (Not-so-Great) State of Literature in Yemen Today

Yemen is still thick in the U.S. headlines. Coincidentally, (unless you can think up some fabulous conspiracy theory involving writers, planes, bombs, and Christmas) the most recent issue of Banipal is full of Yemeni lit. Unfortunately, I can't say I was excited by most of the Yemeni prose in 36. Some of the poetry, however, … Continue reading Banipal 36: The (Not-so-Great) State of Literature in Yemen Today

LA Times: ‘Yemen Poet Has a Line on the Region’

This piece would've been much more interesting as a Q & A. Instead we get Jeffrey Fleishman's thoroughly chewed and swallowed, chewed and swallowed (and swished-around-in-his-mouth) ideas about Yemen and, why not, the whole Middle East. Egypt gets a nice little slap: for good measure. And all these headlines because a violent attacker studied Arabic … Continue reading LA Times: ‘Yemen Poet Has a Line on the Region’