BOZAR has invited three generations of Palestinian poets to share the stage for the first time. In the course of this remarkable evening, they will discuss their unique place in world literature. They will read from their own work while the French, English and Dutch translations are projected onto screens. The legendary poet Mahmoud Darwich is often regarded as the voice of Palestinian literature. However, this evening will prove that there are countless other gifted authors. The evening is hosted by the Dutch writer and Middle East specialist Chris Keulemans.
A signing session with the three authors will take place after the talk. The selling of the English version of the books is organized by Waterstones.Ghassan Zaqtan, highly esteemed in the Arabic world, lives in Ramallah. His international breakthrough came in 2013 when Like a straw bird it follows me, an English collection of his poems, was published. He was awarded the prestigious Griffin Prize for this work. Moreover, he has been shortlisted twice for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the American counterpart of the Nobel Prize.
Ghayath Almadhoun will be familiar to BOZAR audiences. Born in a Palestinian refugee camp, he moved to Sweden a few years ago. The Dutch translation of his collection Weg van Damascus was on the list of the top ten books for several weeks last year.
The youngest of the three poets is Asmaa Azaizeh, whose debut collection was published in six languages. She is also the presenter of a cultural programme on Arabic television. She became more widely known here when she was invited to be the artistic director of the 2013 Read my world festival in Amsterdam, which focused on the youngest generation of Arabic writers.