Jul. 10th, 2013

ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
This was my second year as a reviewer for the Arab American Book Awards, administered by the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. Both years, I've served on the poetry committee, which means I've gotten to read a variety of really lovely poetry by contemporary Arab American poets. This year's winners have just been announced; if you like poetry, I can highly recommend both the winner and the runner up. They're very different books; Hala Alyan's Atrium is full of poems that are sharp and swift, with lovely jogs of language and incredibly piercing moments of emotion, by a new, young-ish poet. Etel Adnan's Sea and Fog, on the other hand, is two long prose-poems, with rolling language that pours over you, written by one of the great Arab-American authors of our period. Many of its phrases have stuck with me, and I found myself having to stop and take a breath quite frequently reading it--just as one does when swimming in the ocean. They were very different poetry-reading experiences, but both fabulous.

I was planning on finishing this post by offering to send some of the many, many books of Arab-American poetry I've picked up from reading for this prize to anyone who wants one...and then I discovered I've packed them already. Nonetheless! If you think you'd like a book of modern poetry sent to you in the mail in August, once I've unpacked, drop a comment here, and I'll PM you for your address once I've found them in the great un-box-en-ing. There isn't a one that I've read for the prize that I wouldn't recommend to a poetry-loving friend...like y'all.


ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
Ajnabieh - The Foreigner

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