"You will hear and taste her laughter and also yours. Because laughter is 'the excess knowledge no one takes seriously,' the cherished identity smuggled out of psychology and surveilled consciousness."
In case you have missed it, the special Baffler magazine section on poetry from Palestine, curated by Fady Joudah, continues to unspool.
The three translated poems are "We," "Massacres," and "I Don't Ask Anymore."
"The ugliness of reality has surpassed the imagination of our ancient poets, and where modes of torture and killing machines have overshadowed the most creative minds of filmmakers, it is futile to invoke the ancient muses."
"To write a memory I gathered a memory / and to green the marshes I sprinkled friends/ over the salt marshes, and was at a loss/ with myself"
Today on Jadaliyya, Sinan Antoon published translations of two Rashid Hussein poems to mark Youm al-Ard, or Palestinian Land Day.
Banipal has apparently been saving up their news, as a whole bunch of it appeared in my inbox this morning. Among the news items: judges will be deliberating on the Saif Ghobash - Banipal prize-winners later this month.
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).
Palestinian-American poet Fady Joudah (who I thought should've made the Beirut39, but never mind) has won this year's 2010 PEN USA Literary Award for translation for his rendition of Mahmoud … Continue reading Fady Joudah Wins 2010 PEN USA Literary Award