British Writers In Support of Palestine

May 27, 2018

THE ENDLESS SCREAM in the breaking news

Filed under: Uncategorized — Naomi Foyle @ 7:56 pm

Hello and welcome to everyone who has joined us so far in May – as Israeli atrocities in Gaza hit the headlines again and again, the site has continued to attract a high rate of new followers. Anyone with an ounce of moral sense would like to feel they are doing something to end this murderous apartheid regime; and thus, taking its cue from the Palestinian grassroots, BWISP exists to support the cultural and academic boycott of Israel, and the Palestinian cultural resistance – the latter being vitally important as it asserts Palestinian existence in the homeland, and identity across the diaspora.

It is with a sense of hope and defiance then, that I announce a forthcoming poetry event at this year’s Left Forum in New York City: ‘THE ENDLESS SCREAM in the breaking news’, which has to be the best title I’ve ever heard for a Palestinian poetry reading. No surprise, then, that it’s from a Mahmoud Darwish poem. And how fitting that the event will feature NYC poet, spoken word artist and calligrapher Farid Bitar reading from A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (Smokestack Books, 2017), the title of which also owes a debt to Darwish. As editor of the anthology I am very pleased that Farid will be sharing the stage with poets from Jewish Voice for Peace, an outstanding US activist organisation that works tirelessly to end the occupation, and expose the lie that Judaism is co-extensive with Zionism.

Hopefully, Farid will be travelling to Palestine this summer to launch A Blade of Grass in Jerusalem and Ramallah. I know many of you will have been donating money to medical funds for the thousands of Gazans wounded in the recent massacres on the border, and the need there is huge. But if you can spare any small change for a cultural project, I am seeking support from members and followers for a crowdfunding campaign in aid of Farid’s airfare. No-one fights more passionately for his people than Farid does; their endless scream echoes throughout his work, and it would be very moving to see him in Palestine, returning to his homeland and hearing the whispers of its olive trees for the first time in over a decade.

There’s more on the crowdfunding campaign here. We are also seeking help with associated venue costs of the Ramallah launch, while any extra funds raised will go to Dareen Tatour’s legal fund. No donation is too small, and rewards include calligraphy drawings, CDs, and the anthology itself – which is also for sale here. Thank you from Farid and myself for any and all contributions – and for helping to spread the word about this campagin, and the Left Forum event.



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