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Middle Eastern Studies Program presents

Mahmoud Darwish: The Poetics of Return

Sinan Antoon (NYU)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Many of the late poems of Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) grapple with the theme of a/the “return” to Palestine. Considering Darwish’s iconic status and his immense symbolic and political capital and the visceral importance of “return” as a political category, it becomes more than a theme. In his talk Antoon will attempt to trace this narrative of return in representative poems and read its political implications.

Sinan Antoon is Associate Professor at NYU's Gallatin School. He is also a poet, novelist and translator. He has published two collections of poetry in Arabic and one collection in English: "The Baghdad Blues" (Harbor Mountain Press, 2007). He has published three novels: "I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody" (City Lights, 2007), "The Pomegranate Alone" (2010) forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2013, and "Ya Maryam" (Beirut: Dar al-Jamal, 2012). His translations from the Arabic include Mahmoud Darwish’s "In the Presence of Absence" (Archipelago, 2011) and a selection of Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef’s late work, "Nostalgia; My Enemy" (Graywolf, 2012). His translation of Toni Morrison’s Home is forthcoming in Arabic in 2013. He is a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Arab Studies Journal and co-founder and co-editor of the cultural page of Jadaliyya. Antoon returned to his native Baghdad in 2003 as a member of InCounter Productions to co-direct a documentary, About Baghdad, about the lives of Iraqis in a post-Saddam-occupied Iraq.


For more information, call 845-758-7506, or e-mail dramadan@bard.edu.

Location: Olin 102