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)
It's amazing how intense the first little bit of summer vacation can be. At least, if you're me, and have two weddings and two graduations to attend in a four week period. Oh, and two revise-and-resubmits that should have been done ages ago staring down your nose.

But I've finally got half-a-breath, and hope to be returning to blogging soon. (In particular, I've got an interview I want to put up, and some commentary on the Egyptian election.) But, in quick hits:

1) So, uh, I graduated?


OK, maybe I'm a *little* miffed it didn't have a gold tassel, but owning my very own fuzzy octagonal hat makes up for any slights. C'mon, after all those fashion posts, are you surprised I got my doctorate for the express purpose of wearing regalia?

2. I'm super excited about the Arab American Book Awards. I was a judge in the poetry category, and got to read six amazing books of vibrant new poetry, by both up-and-coming and established stars in the Arab-American poetry community. I will make a post about all the nominees in a little bit--and probably give away some of the books, though a couple I'm keeping--but if you like poetry and can pick up a copy of Transfer, the honorable mention, somewhere, do so. I'd say you should get a copy of Abu Ghraib Arias, but it was only printed in an edition of 200, and therefore is unlikely to be found on store shelves. (You can see the cover and read a poem from it here.) I'm also excited because it means a likely trip to Dearborn for me to attend the awards ceremony. Dearborn yay!

3. This is where I publicly say that I'm planning to go to Egypt for a few weeks in September, to do some fieldwork. So if you, say, speak Egyptian 'ammiya (dialect) and want to Skype practice with me, or recommend your favorite trashy Egyptian movies/television to watch to get my listening comprehension up, or give me hotel recommendations or whatevs, you can.

4. In the vein of the previously mentions trashy Arabic TV: TOOP SHEF. That's how you say Top Chef in Arabic. IT IS SERIOUSLY THE BEST THING EVER EVER EVER EVER.

I'm pretty sure you don't need to know Arabic to follow along, once the cooking gets going--there's a lot of English (and some French) used to communicate, and plus, cooking!reality!TV crosses all possible linguistic boundaries.

After all, I think it's important that I learn how to say "I'm not here to make friends" in Arabic as soon as possible, don't you?


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

March 2016

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