Literary Highlights of Winter 2012

This list is incomplete, but I didn’t want to get too far into 2012 before launching it. Please help by bringing more events to my attention.


Jan 9 Sawiris Awards announced

Jan 11 International Prize for Arabic Fiction shortlist announcement

January 14 & 15First annual SOAS Arabic Poetry Festival, London

“Jan 16 or 17” Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation to be announced

Jan 22 Cairo International Book Fair opens. Insha’allah.

Jan 26 “Time Travels in Literature and Politics” Hisham Matar and Abdelkader Benali  at the University College of London. 6:30.

Jan 31 Join Mahmoud Saeed for a discussion of his novel Through the Eyes of Angels at DePaul University in Chicago, Ill., USA.

New releases:

 Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, by Ahdaf Soueif (Bloomsbury)

Gathering of the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry, eds. Patty Paine, Samia Touati, and Jeff Lodge (Ithaca Press)

Poet in Andalucía, by Nathalie Handal (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Approaches to Teaching the Work of Naguib Mahfouz, ed. Wail Hassan


Feb 2 Literature Across Frontiers presents: Literary Translation from Arabic into English in the UK and Ireland – a research report 6:30 p.m., Free Word Centre, London.

Feb 3 Launch of a “major tribute” to Adonis at London’s Mosaic Rooms. 7 p.m.

Feb 5 Inaugural Lecture hosted by Cairo’s House of Translation: Michael Cronin (Dublin City University) talks about “Global Perspectives on Translation,” 6 p.m. NOTE that this will now be held at the Supreme Council for Culture, Opera House Grounds, in Zamalek.  

Feb 6 Sebald Lecture 2012 and the awarding of Banipal Prize

Feb 7 Prof Michael Cronin on “Translation in the Digital Age” at 6 p.m. on the Opera House Grounds

Feb 10-19 Casablanca International Book Fair

Feb 19 Adina Hoffman: The Poetry of Taha Muhammad Ali. 12.30pm at King’s Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. More info here.

Feb 28 Opening of the Muscat International Book Fair. It’s set to run through March 9.

Also in February Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners will be announced; the Best Translated Book Awards (USA) longlist also will be announced.

New releases:


March 6-10 Emirates Lit Fest

March 6-16 Riyadh International Book Fair

March 27 International Prize for Arabic Fiction winner announced

March 28 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair opens (and is set to run through Apr 2)

March 28-29 Book launch of Gathering of the Tide with discussions and readings, VCU Qatar in Doha, Qatar.

March 29 Awards presentation ceremony for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions center.

New releases: Throwing Sparks…, by Abdo Khal, trans. Maia Tabet and Michael K. Scott.

Other notable spring releases (month not given): The Palm House, by Tarek Eltayeb, trans. Kareem James Abu-Zeid (AUC Press) and Time of White Horses, by Ibrahim Nasrallah, trans. Nancy Roberts (AUC Press)

Highlights from April include the Arkansas Festival of Writers, which will feature Sinan Antoon and Randa Jarrar, and the release of Marilyn Booth’s translation of Elias Khoury’s As Though She Were Sleeping by Archipelago. Humphrey Davies’ translation came out in 2011.

Highlights from May include the release of Magdy al-Shafee’s Metro from Metropolitan Books and a Boston, USA performance by Marcel Khalife, called “In the Presence of Absence: An Homage to Mahmoud Darwish.”

You can find another 2012 literary calendar on The Guardian.

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