Launch for 'Home: New Arabic Poems'

Launch for 'Home: New Arabic Poems'

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 7:30PM ET
Event Location: 

You can watch a recording of this event, along with other virtual Transnational Series events, on our YouTube channel.

Join the Transnational Literature Series for the launch of Home: New Arabic Poems. Editor Sarah Coolidge will be joined by contributors Robyn Creswell, Hodna Nuernberg, and Rawad Wehbe for readings and conversation. 

Evoking the sights, sounds, and tastes of contemporary life, the poets in Home explore the intimate world of everyday life, its agonies and delights. A glass shatters in a neighbor’s sink followed by the stomping of “little feet”; a woman falls asleep on the shoulder of a man she doesn’t know on an airplane; and a man passes his time smoking alone a café, observing the charge of activity all around him. The worlds these poets traverse are not devoid of politics, wars, and global migrations, and yet by taking the minutiae of everyday life as their subject they remind us of the need to periodically turn inward and find meaning in the specific and deeply personal.

Featuring work by Iman Mersal (Egypt), Samer Abu Hawwash (Palestine), Ines Abassi (Tunisia), Fadhil al-Azzawi (Iraq) and others, Home introduces readers to contemporary voices from across the Arabic-speaking world. Beautifully rendered into English by some of today’s leading Arabic translators, these poems are presented alongside their Arabic originals in a bilingual collection that celebrates language and its power to transform even the most familiar surroundings into enchanting landscapes for us to inhabit, if just for a moment.

Robyn Creswell teaches comparative literature at Yale University. He is the translator of Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Tongue of Adam and Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell and Notes from Prison (both published by New Directions). He is the author of City of Beginnings: Poetic Modernism in Beirut (Princeton University Press). His essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of BooksThe Nation, and elsewhere. 

Hodna Bentali Gharsallah Nuernberg holds an MA in francophone world studies and an MFA in literary translation, both from the University of Iowa. Her translations from the French and the Arabic have appeared in AnomalyAsymptoteQuarterly Literary Review SingaporePoet LoreTwo Lines, and elsewhere. Nuernberg lives in Morocco, where she serves as an editor-at-large for Asymptote and works as a translator for film and TV. Her co-translation of Raphaël Confiant’s Madam St. Clair, Queen of Harlem was published by Diálogos in January 2020.

Rawad Wehbe is a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He studies the poetics of feeling, emotion, and affect through stones and fever in Arabic literature. His translations have appeared in InventoryWords Without Borders, DoubleSpeakand Two Lines.

Moderator Sarah Coolidge received her BA in comparative literature from Bard College. She enjoys reading books in Spanish and English, and she writes essays on photography and international literature.