Essayist, short-story writer, and critic Lemya Shammat has a PhD in English Language and Linguistics from Khartoum University and is an Assistant Professor at King Saud Bin Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A member of the Sudanese Writers Union, Shammat has published a book on literary criticism and discourse analysis as well as a collection of short-short stories. She also translates between English and Arabic, and her work appears in ArabLit Quarterly.
Work on ArabLit by Lemya Shammat:
Khair’s shows make the slow-paced town and the dilapidated, decayed and history-laden theatre building pulse with energy and life, pumping lifeblood into the underfunded and cash-starved local performance arts.
For that reason, Wardi’s words have been at the forefront of the current Sudanese revolution. He’s recalled as a strong example of a great artist who proved strong and steadfast in opinions, words, and actions. His revolutionary-themed pieces, which document crucial chapters of Sudanese history, have been used as rallies’ chants and played on the sit-in site loudspeakers.
They seem to identify with the enlightening and inspirational poems to such a degree that these poems keep resonating down generations, stirring up the bittersweet, bringing them to their feet and to tears.
“Malkat Addar Mohammad’s الفراغالعريض (The Wide Void) was the first novel by a Sudanese woman that was published in Arabic. Written in the early 1950s, it was only published in 1972.”
“A poem brims first with a forceful downpour, followed by soft, tamed sounds, resembling Khartoum’s twin-Nile miracle where the thundering roar of the Blue Nile meets the sleepy sigh of the White.”
“Tents with long desks full of books at either side served as public libraries, where readers had access to banned books, including the books of Fathi-al-Daw and the novels of A. Baraka Sakin, which were once traded secretly in the country.”
As-Sanoussi’s stories had wide influence on Sudan’s ‘80s generation writers, who found inspiration and guidance in her condensed artistic practice.
“A bullet doesn’t kill, what really kills is the silence of the oppressed.”
He was compelled to throw his notebook
so he bent to lift up a brick,
and could see the sniper’s beard
soaked in his own blood
“Without falling victim to affectation, artificiality, or modernist arbitrariness, he has been able to coin creative expressions that have moved beyond the pages of his short stories into daily use.”
These critiques closely follow the impact of the ’60s poetry and the evolution of major cultural currents such as the “Bush and the Desert,” which advocated an Afro-Arab identity, followed by “Apademak,” which called for a pure Sudanese culture.
As it appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of ArabLit Quarterly.