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Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Arab women poets work within one of the oldest literary traditions in the world, yet they are virtually unknown in the West. Uniting Arab women poets from the all over the Arab World anti abroad, Nathalie Handal has put together an outstanding collection that introduces poets who write in Arabic, French, English, and Swedish, among them some of the twentieth century's most ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published September 30th 2015 by Interlink Books (first published October 2000)
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4.07  · 
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 ·  120 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Zaha Gheryania-shtewi
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
An anthology that includes poets of a rare demographic, Arab women. It seems like our narrative is constantly written for us, edited and handed over, all bound and glossy...we're expected to smile and swallow it without any sugar to help it go down easy. I'm glad that Handal was able to put together this collection, it might be especially helpful for those who might not understand the brown female experience. For writers like me who fit the description, I was surprised at how similar my own work ...more
Malak Alrashed
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Pretty insightful. It introduced me to so many Arabic female poets whom I didn't know at all. I noticed, though, that the voices of these women sound pretty similar to one another. I think it tells us a lot of how our poetry is restricted and still not completely free.

Recommended for anyone who is interested in the history of Arabic Female Poetry. It has a good introduction of how it all started followed by lots of poems.
Jun 15, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Generally I think I expected more from this anthology. While its breadth of writers is huge, and definitely interesting, the quality and variety of poetry varies a lot. That said, there are some amazing writers int his collection, and given how understudied women poets are, particularly Arab women poets, this anthology breaks new ground in providing a lens into current writers for the English reading crowd.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A very good collection of poetry by Arab women writers from across North Africa, the Middle East, and the diaspora. The poetry spans most of the 20th century. To get an idea of the origins and influences of modern Arab women poetry I recommend that both the preface and especially the introduction are read.
Josephina Kilzi
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
As much as I wished it was written in its original language, Arabic, I enjoyed reading this book quite a lot. The collection of poetry is beautifully added, and the effort of translation is remarkable. Give it a read, Western world!
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lovely anthology full of poets I'd never encountered before. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing how rich Arab poetry is.
Sara Khayat
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What Nathalie Handal has done as an editor is revolutionary for the future of Arab identity. Handal has given Arab women as well as Arab women of the diaspora a safe place where they can all converse. In this contemporary anthology, nearly one hundred Arab women share the same space in the same language, existing geographically next to each other without barriers.

Language, while crucial to the construction of this anthology, is also a very common theme within these narratives. Whether that is a
Antonio Delgado
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A necessary anthology and a great introduction to an often ignored poetry tradition. Every poems and every poet feels contemporary of our common humanity. Every page takes us deeper into seeing our fragile existence.
Lorelei Armstrong
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous. Had to stop turning down page corners or I would never have gotten it to close.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Browsed through, reading occasional poems. Particularly liked Habiba Muhammadi.
Sarah Yasin
I don't think this is an anthology of the best and brightest pieces to choose from - some are lyrically dull and others are too politically charged. I guess that's what was en vogue to western ears at the time of publication.
Doann Houghton-Alico
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Terrific! Moving, poignant, revealing.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous anthology, I earmarked so many poems in here.
Zohra Star
One of the best anthologies of Arab women poets.
Mills College Library
892.71608 P7457 2001
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Nathalie Handal was raised in Latin America, France and the Arab world. Described as “a Renaissance figure,” Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Kumunyakaa writes, “This cosmopolitan voice belongs to the human family, and it luxuriates in crossing necessary borders.” Her most recent books include the critically acclaimed Poet in Andalucía, which Alice Walker lauds as “poems of depth and weight and the sor ...more