Monday, April 27, 2009

PSB Presents: May's Poet of the Month!

Taha Muhammad Ali

One of the leading poets on the contemporary Palestinian scene, Taha Muhammad Ali was born in 1931 in the Galilee village of Saffuriyya. During the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, he was forced to flee to Lebanon, together with most of the inhabitants of his village. A year later he slipped across the border with his family and, finding his village destroyed, settled in Nazareth, where he has lived ever since. 

The Saffuriyya of his childhood has served as the nexus of his work, which is grounded in everyday experience and driven by a story-teller’s vivid imagination. A self-educated poet, in his youth he spent nights studying classical Arabic poetry, as well as the works of American and European poets, while supporting himself (and still does) by selling souvenirs from his shop near Nazareth’s Church of the Annunciation.

Ali is the author four books of poetry in Arabic and a book of short stories. So What: New & Selected Poems, 1971–2005, translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi, and Gabriel Levin, was published in September of 2006 by Copper Canyon Press. A new, recently published biography of Taha Muhammad Ali, My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness, written by Adina Hoffman, is currently on sale.

Click below to watch Taha Muhammad Ali reading at the Dodge Poetry Festival:

Also, make sure to check out our in-store display!

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