‘Against barbarity,’ wrote the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008), ‘poetry can resist only by cultivating an attachment to human fragility, like a blade of grass growing on a wall as armies march by.’
A Blade of Grass brings together, in English and in Arabic, new work by poets from the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, from the Palestinian diaspora and from within the disputed borders of Israel. Featuring work by Fady Joudah, Mahmoud Darwish, Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, Deema K. Shehabi, Ashraf Fayadh, Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marwan Makhoul, Farid Bitar, Fatena Al Ghorra, Dareen Tatour and Sara Saleh, it celebrates the flourishing cultural resistance of the Palestinian people to decades of displacement, occupation, exile and bombardment. Voices fresh and seasoned converse with history, sing to the land, and courageously nurture an attachment to human fragility. Written in free verse and innovative forms, hip-hop rhythms and the Arabic lyric tradition, these poems bear witness both to catastrophe and to the powerful determination to survive it.
Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour are both currently imprisoned, respectively in Saudi Arabia and Israel, on charges relating to their poetry. A percentage of the receipts of this book will be donated tosupport their legal fees.
Translators: Josh Calvo, Katharine Halls, Anna Murison, Sarah Maguire, Raphael Cohen, Tariq Al Haydar, Andrew Leber, Wejdan Shamala, Waleed Al-Bazoon, Ahmed Taha and Naomi Foyle.