Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me
Posted in Other Events
October 19, 2012
12:00 PM | Lannan Center (New North 408)
The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice invite you to a reading of Palestinian poetry with Ghassan Zaqtan, one of the leading poets of the Arab world. Zaqtan will share his most recent collection of work, translated by Fady Joudah and moderated by Professor Dima Ayoub and Professor Mark McMorris.
In this inspired translation of Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, Ghassan Zaqtan’s tenth and most recent poetry collection, Fady Joudah brings to English-language readers the best work by one of the most important and original Palestinian poets of our time. With these poems Zaqtan enters new terrain, illuminating the vision of what Arabic poetry in general, and Palestinian poetry in particular, are capable of. Departing from the lush aesthetics of such celebrated predecessors as Mahmoud Darwish and Adonis, Zaqtan’s daily, delicate narrative, whirling catalog, and at times austere aesthetics represent a new trajectory, a significant leap for young Arabic poets today.
Joudah’s preface notes, “Ghassan Zaqtan’s poems, in their constant unfolding invite us to enter them, exit them, map and un-map them, code and decode them, fill them up and empty them, with the living and non-living, the animate and inanimate, towards a true freedom.”
Ghassan Zaqtan is a Palestinian poet and author of ten collections of poetry. He is also a novelist, editor, and filmmaker. He was born in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, and has lived in Jordan, Beirut, Damascus, and Tunis. He returned to Palestine in 1994 and now lives in Ramallah.
Fady Joudah is an award-winning poet and translator. Among his translations are two poetry collections by Mahmoud Darwish, If I Were Another and The Butterfly’s Burden.