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This piece is from ArabLit one of my favourite blogs & one worth signing up to.
Issue 3 of The Bennington Review has a poem by Ghassan Zaqtan, “Damascus 1986,” translated from Arabic by Fady Joudah:
Zaqtan, of course, is a multi-award-winning Palestinian writer living in Ramallah, the author of ten collections of poetry and two novellas, winner of the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize (for Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me, tr. Joudah)and twice nominated for the Neustadt Prize. The Silence That Remains (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), also translated by Joudah, is his most recent poetry collection to appear in English.
This poem, “Damascus 1986,” is full of hard sounds, scarcely tethered images, and missed opportunities. It opens:
The key’s clang
the sun I called from the windowsill
the brief time of fondness
none of it were mine
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Ahmed Shafie (http://shaaaf.blogspot.com) is an Egyptian poet, novelist, and translator who oddly does not have a collection in English translation, although his work has been translated by Robin Moger and, here, by Humphrey Davies:
Shafie was a 2014 resident at the University of Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Program, and he’s the author of the acclaimed collection 77 (2017), which made several “best of 2017” lists. Before that, he published Other Poems (2009), and A Side Street Ending in a Fountain (2000), and he’s also published two novels: The Creator (2013) and Sousou’s Journey (2003).
He’s also an award-winning translator; his translation of Russell Edson’s Collected Prose Poems was one of Muhammad Abdelnaby’s “favorite reads” of 2015.
have no hands.
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