British Writers In Support of Palestine

October 3, 2017

A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry – Crowdfunding Begins!

 

Looking for a way to support the Palestinian cultural resistance? Why not feed the poets! The forthcoming Smokestack Books anthology A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry is crowdfunding now, seeking to raise money to help pay contributors’ fees and printing costs, and to donate to the legal campaigns of imprisoned poets Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour. There’s more information below, or just click here to go straight to the site. Thank you for anything you can do to help – even if just spreading the word!

‘Against barbarity,’ said the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008), ‘poetry can resist only by cultivating an attachment to human frailty, like a blade of grass growing on a wall as armies march by.’ 

A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry brings together, in English and Arabic,  new work by poets from the Palestinian territories, from the diaspora, and from within the disputed borders of Israel. Presenting work by Marwan MakhoulMaya Abu Al-HayyatFatena Al-GharraDareen TatourAshraf FayadhFady JoudahNaomi Shihab NyeDeema K. ShehabiMustafa Abu SneinehFarid BitarShahid NWASara Saleh and Mahmoud Darwish, and featuring a 12 page introduction by the book’s editor, poet and activist Naomi Foyle, the anthology celebrates the flourishing cultural resistance of the Palestinian people to decades of displacement, occupation, exile and bombardment. Voices fresh and seasoned converse with history, sing to the land, and courageously nurture an attachment to human fragility. Written in free verse and innovative forms, hip hop rhythms and the Arabic lyric tradition, these poems bear witness both to catastrophe, and to the powerful determination to survive it.

Smokestack Books is a small independent press that receives no public subsidy. The publisher and the editor are working pro bono. The book is partially funded by a research grant from the University of Chichester, awarded to the editor, which has allowed her to pay a small contributors’ fee of £10 a page.  This crowdfunding campaign seeks to increase this fee to a more professional rate; to cover design and printing costs for the book; and to raise money toward the legal fees of Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour, both currently imprisoned, respectively in Saudi Arabia and Israel, on charges related to their poetry.

Translators: Josh CalvoRaphael CohenKatharine HallsSarah Maguire and Anna Murison [c/o the Poetry Translation Centre], Tariq Al-HaydarAndrew LeberWaleed Al-BazoonWejdan Shamala.

Monies raised to support Ashraf Fayadh will be donated to the English PEN campaign on his behalf.  Funds raised for Dareen Tatour will be donated to the Free Dareen Tatour campaign.

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October 20, 2010

Poetry International 2010: Spotlight on Palestine

Poetry International 2010
at the South Bank Centre, London
Oct 30 – Nov 7

Celebrated poets from around the globe respond to the theme of imagining peace and bring us their perspectives on a changing world, with Palestine and the Middle East as a central focus. During nine days of readings, performance and ideas, poets from 29 countries take to the stage, including Palestinian poets Remi Kanazi, Suheir Hammad, Fady Joudah, and Lisa Suhair Majaj, audio-visual collective Tashweesh, and a special joint appearance by father and son Mourid and Tamim Barghouti, chaired by novelist Ahdaf Soueif, chair of the Palestinian Festival of Literature.

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