“But then I understood. There is some point where it’s impossible to cross the wall between two languages if you don’t change it.”
Any “listicle” on Gaza risks being an exploitative act, piggybacking on and redirecting attention from the current human catastrophe. But silence isn’t much of a solution, either. So, a list.
Fatin Abdal-Sabur attended the final event of this year’s Palestine Festival of Literature. She reflects on this and the previous fest.
The Jerusalem International Writers Fest was held mid-May, just two weeks before the Palestine Festival of Literature was staged all across historic Palestine. At the Jerusalem festival, there was no apparent recognition of Arabic literature, despite the city’s large (~34%) Arab population.
This week, the 2014 Palestine Festival of Literature announced its full lineup and schedule. Events are set to be held in six cities with the inclusion of such luminaries of world literature as Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, and Najwan Darwish.
While fiction and poetry should never be read as history — or as a substitute for such — the Catastrophe has been the scene for some of Arabic’s most brilliant creative works.
Keep Your Eye on the Wall, ed. Olivia Snaije and Mitch Albert, is less a coffee-table collection, and more — because of its accordion-style binding — a book to transect the floor of your living space, much like the Separation Walls that keep Palestinians apart from Palestinians, from Israelis, from the world, and often from their own land.
Sarah Irving and Henry Bell, co-editors of the forthcoming volume of Palestinian poetry in translation — A Bird is not a Stone — are perhaps the first to run a successful crowdfunding campaign to promote Arabic literature in translation. ArabLit wanted to hear more about how they did it, and why they thought it worked.
From now through May 9, 2014, the editors and and organizers of the poetry collection A Bird is not a Stone are running a campaign to rise £3,000 to distribute the book more widely and to support bringing Palestinian poets to Scotland and England for a series of readings.
Before I ever met Najwan Darwish, I’d imagined him in an impassioned frustration, throwing handfuls of promotional fliers in the air.
On three publications and a Tumblr, thirteen newly translated poems by Palestinian authors Mazen Maarouf, Najwan Darwish, and Ashraf Zaghal.
A Bird is not a Stone, ed. Henry Bell and Sarah Irving, is a collection of poems by contemporary Palestinian writers forthcoming from Glasgow’s Freight Books. The translations are done — through the bridge method — by 25 of Scotland’s top poets. Irving talks about the collection, which she suggests is perhaps “freer” for being a bridge translation.