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Postcards from the Underworld: Poems (The Arab List)

Postcards from the Underworld: Poems (The Arab List)

Current price: $19.00
Publication Date: October 4th, 2023
Publisher:
Seagull Books
ISBN:
9781803092508
Pages:
96
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Description

A chilling poetic reflection on the world we have inherited and the destructions that made it.
 
To confront time, pre-modern Arabic poems often began with the poet standing before the ruins, real and imagined, of a beloved’s home. In Postcards from the Underworld, Sinan Antoon works in that tradition, observing the detritus of his home city, Baghdad, where he survived two wars—the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 and the First Gulf War of 1991—and which, after he left, he watched from afar being attacked during the US invasion in 2003.  Antoon’s poems confront violence and force us not to look away as he traces death’s haunting presence in the world. Nature offers consolation, and flowers and butterflies are the poet’s interlocutors, but they too cannot escape ruin. Composed in Arabic and translated into English by the poet himself, Postcards from the Underworld is a searing meditation on the destruction of humans, habitats, and homes.

About the Author

Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, scholar, and translator based in New York. He holds degrees from Baghdad, Georgetown, and Harvard where he earned his doctorate in Arabic literature, and is currently an associate professor of Arabic Literature at New York University. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book, In the Presence of Absence, won the 2012 American Literary Translators’ Award. His most recent work is the novel The Book of Collateral Damage, which was longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2016 and published in English translation in 2019.