PEN /AMERICA On Amjad Nasser

Via PEN / AMERICA: PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 6, 2014 see also this blog for 30 September On September 27, 2014, Jordanian-British Poet Amjad Nasser was denied permission to board a plane bound for New York, where he was to inaugurate the new Gallatin Global Writers Series at New York University. Like other writers who face ideological exclusion from the U.S.—including Ilija Trojanow almost exactly one year earlier—Nasser was given no … Read more PEN /AMERICA On Amjad Nasser

Summer Reading: New Arab Poetry Translations Online

via Arab Literature (in English): Writes mlynxqualey:  Not exactly “beach reading,” but you could peruse these on your phone as you listen to the waves. Portrait of al-Sayyab from Badr Shakir al-Sayyab In Jadaliyya’s summer “culture bouquet,” they feature the Iraqi poet’s “Whorehouse,” trans. Levi Thompson. (You can read the original here.) “Whorehouse”  Sargon Boulus Also from the “culture bouquet” (a great one this season), a poem by … Read more Summer Reading: New Arab Poetry Translations Online

Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

Below the opening paragraphs of an interview with Egyptian author Nawal El Saadawi; you can read the full interview in Qantara magazine, here: “They don’t want any really courageous people!” The spirited Egyptian author and feminist Nawal El Saadawi is not afraid of castigating the hypocrisy of the political system and the continued violations of women’s rights in her country. Arian Fariborz spoke to her in Cairo Ms Saadawi, … Read more Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

Syrian Intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh Speaks Out

The Boston Review has just published a major interview with activist & intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh by Danny Postel and Nader Hashemi, co-editors of The Syria Dilemma. Yassin al-Haj Saleh is often called the conscience of the Syrian revolution. Born in Raqqa in 1961, he was arrested in 1980, while a medical student in Aleppo, and imprisoned for his membership in a left-wing organization. He remained a political prisoner until 1996, spending the last of … Read more Syrian Intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh Speaks Out

Poetry, ‘A More Serious Crime Than Murder’

Once again from the Arabic Literature (in English) website: Poetry, ‘A More Serious Crime Than Murder’ BY MLYNXQUALEY on FEBRUARY 11, 2014 • ( 1 ) It hasn’t been a good few weeks for Arabic-writing poets. In Qatar, Muhammad al-Ajami remains in prison. In Iran, poet Hashem Shaabani, who published both in Persian and in Arabic, was  executed for being an enemy of God and the state, according to rights groups. In Egypt, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information … Read more Poetry, ‘A More Serious Crime Than Murder’

Humphrey Davies on Climbing Translation’s Mt. Everest

via the excellent Arab Literature (in English) blog: by mlynxqualey In his recent review of the book, M.A. Orthofer called Humphrey Davies’ translation of Ahmed Faris al-Shidyaq’s Leg Over Leg “the most important literary publication of a translation into English, in terms of literary history and our understanding of it, in years.” Davies answered a few questions about the four-volume book in an interview that originally appeared on the Library of Arabic Literature … Read more Humphrey Davies on Climbing Translation’s Mt. Everest