Palestine Poetry

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A Bird is Not a Stone

(House of Poetry, Al-Bireh, nr Ramallah, summer 2014) Project co-ordinated by Murad al-Sudani and Rana Barakat of the House of Poetry and Scottish poets Liz Lochhead, Billy Letford, Henry King, Henry Bell and Lorna MacBean.


Tamim Al-Barghouti

In Jerusalem and other Poems  – Poetry from 1996-2016, translated by Radwa Ashour (the poet’s mother) and Ahdaf Soueif (Northampton, Massachusetts : Interlink Publications, 2017


Susan Abulhawa

My Voice Sought the Wind  (Charlottesville, Virginia : Just World Books, 2013)


Taha Muhammad Ali  (see also FICTION)

Biography by Adina Hoffman My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness : A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century (Yale University Press, 2009)

So What : New and Selected Poems (with a Story), 1971-2005  (Jerusalem : Ibis, 2000) – translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi & Gabriel Levin.

Never Mind : Twenty Poems and a Story (Bloodaxe, 2007) – translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi & Gabriel Levin.


Atef Alshaer

As editor : The Nakba : Through Palestinian Writers’ Eyes  (Saqi Books, 2018)  Poetry and prose on the Nakba by Palestinian writers over the last seventy years : pre-Nakba, post-Nakba and post-Oslo Accords. Authors include Mahmoud Darwish, Samira Azzam, Fadwa Tuqan and Edward Said, as well as by emerging Palestinian writers.

Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World  (Hurst & Co., 2016)  Analyses poetic responses to the end of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of Arab nationalism, French and British colonialism, and Palestine and the struggle against Zionism.


Hala Alyan

Four Cities  (Black Lawrence Press, 2015)

Atrium  (Three Rooms Press, 2012)



They Claim There is No Resistance (Al Fateh / Palestine National Liberation Movement, 20pp, ca. 1968) – translated by Sulafa Hijjawi


Myriam Antaki

Verses of Forgiveness  (New York City : Other Press, 1999) Story of a Palestinian suicide bomber awaiting his hour of death.


Naseer Aruri & Edmund Ghareeb, editors

Enemy of the Sun  (authors’ publication, 1970) Poetry by Mahmoud Darwish, Rashed Hussein, Sa_____ Qassem, Tawfiq Zayyad, Salen Jubran, Nizar Qabbani, Fadwa Touqan, Arshad Tawfiq, Yusif Hamdan, Abdel Rahman Muhamad Rafie, Hadia Abdul-Hadi, and Fawzi Jiryis Abdullah; translated into English.


Fouzi el-Asmar (Haifa-born; editor of Mapam-owned Arabic weekly Al Fajer; eventually exiled to USA)

Poems from an Israeli Prison  (New York City : Know Books, 44pp, 1974) aka :  Dreams on a Mattress of Thorns and Poems from an Israeli Prison  (Gazelle Publications, 39 pages, 1976) edited by Karen Bryant


Jamal Assadi and Simon Jacobs

The Story of a People : An Anthology of Palestinian Poets within the Green Lines  (Peter Lang Publishing, 2011)  Poets included : Hanna Abu Hanna, Fahd Abu Khadrah, Taha Mohammad Ali, Rushdi Al-Madi, Samih Al-Qasim, Turki Amer, Su’ud Assadi, Yahya Salim Atalla, Salman Daghash, Suleiman Daghash, Mona Daher, Mahmoud Darwish, Susan Debbini, George Jiryes Farah, Shafiq Habib, Nazih Hassun, Ahmad Husain, Rashid Husain, Hanna Ibrahim, Shakib Jahshan, Salim Jubran, Samir Khair, George Najib Khalil, Jiryes Khuri, Nida Khuri, Marwan Makhkhul, Salim Makhuli, Ibrahim Malik, Husain Muhanna, Faruq Muwasi, Aaydah Nasrullah, Jamal Qa’war, Zahirah Sabbagh, Samih Sabbagh, Nayef Salim, Mu’ein Shalabeya, Bashir Ali Shalash, Nadhir Shamali, Edmun Shehade, Tawfiq Zayyad


Asma’a Azaizeh

She won the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Writer Award in 2010 and published her first collection of poetry ‘Liwa’ in 2o11. She has worked as a journalist and presenter for various newspapers and radio stations and is currently presenter of a Palestinian television programme on culture and art, as well as a lecturer in creative writing. See selected poems in Banipal, no. 45.


Fouzi Asmar

Dreams from a Mattress of Thorns  (Gazelle Publications, 1976)

The Wind-driven Reed  (Washington DC : Three Continents Press, 1979)


Hala Alyan (Palestinian-American clinical psychologist in New York City)

Hijra  (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016)

Four Cities (Black Lawrence Press, 2015)  Poems from Detroit to Haifa

Atrium  (Three Rooms Press, 2012)  Winner of Arab American Book Award

See also : FICTION


Fadhil Al-Azzawi

Miracle Maker : Selected Poems  (translated by Khaled Mattawa; Rochester, New York : BOA Editions, 2003)


Clinton Bailey

Bedouin Poetry from Sinai to the Negev : Mirror of a Culture (Oxford University Press / Clarendon Press, 1991)  Section 1 – poems from the war of Zaric al-Huzayyil (1875-1887); Section 2 – poems sent from and to the Sinai Smuggler-poet Anez Abu Salim during his prison term (1962-1970).

See also : OLDER PALESTINE HISTORY section for non-poetry regarding Bedouin society.


Mourid Barghouthi

Midnight and other Poems translated by his wife, the Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour (Todmorden : Arc Publications, 2008)


Iasmin Omar Ata

Mis(h)adra   (Simon & Schuster, 2017) Graphic novel merging Palestinians with non-Palestinians who have disabilities, in this case, Epilepsy.


Jehan Bseiso (Doctors without Borders) and Becky Thompson, editors

Making Mirrors : Writing/Righting by Refugees (Olive Branch Press, 2018) Poetry anthology; Contributors include: Abbas Sheikhi / Abu Bakr Khaal / Adele Ne Jame / Ahmad Almallah / Ahmed Qaisania / Angela Farmer / Baha/ Budair / Becky Thompson / Bronwen Griffiths / Eman Abedelhadi / Fadwa Soleiman / Fady Joudah / Fatima Al Hassan / Fouad Mohammed Fouad / Gbenga Adesina / Golan Haji / Hajer Almosleh / Hayan Charara / Ibtisam Barakat / Jehan Bseiso / Jose A. Alcantara / Lena Khalaf Tuffaha / Lisa Suhair Majaj / Marilyn Hacker / Marisa Frasca / Merna Ann Hecht / Mohsen Emadi / Mootacem Bellah Mhiri / Naomi Shihab Nye / Nathalie Handal / Nawwar Kamal Al Hassani / Nisreen Aj / Nora Barghati / Omar Mousa Alsayyed / Rewa Zeinati / Ruth Awad / Saad Abdullah / Sanaa Shuaybe / Sara Abou Rashed / Sara Saleh / Sharif S. Elmusa / Sholeh Wolpé / Zeina Azzam / Zeina Hashem Beck / Zoe Holman


Kamal Boullata and Kathy Engel, editors : We Begin Here : Poems for Palestine and Lebanon  (Northampton, Massachusetts : Interlink, 2008) Poets include Etel Adnan, Amiri Baraka, Grace Cavalieri, Ariel Dorfman and Adrienne Rich.

Kamal Boullata, editor : Women of the Fertile Crescent : An Anthology of Modern Poetry by Arab Women  (Washington DC : Three Continents Press, 1978) – Verse from 1948-1978, including Palestinian poets.


Reja-e Busailah (Jerusalem Nakba exile, Indiana University)

We are Humans Too : Poems on the Palestinian Condition  (Medina Press, 2005)

with Dennis BrutusVed Vatuk & Tawkiq Zayyad : The Ordeal : Poems of Anguish, Resistance, and Hope  (Medina Press, 1977)


Mishael Caspi 

Weavers of Songs : The Oral Poetry of Arab Women in Israel and the West Bank  (Washington DC : Three Continents Press, c.1991)


Kevin Coval

What Will I Tell My Jewish Kids?  -and Other Poems of Palestine  (Chicago : Haymarket Books, 2011)


Mahmoud Darwish (the most famous Palestinian poet, with many compilations in print)

Absent Presence – translated by Mahmud Darwish (Hesperus, 2010)

In the Presence of Absence  translated by Sinan Antoon (Archipelago Books, 2011)

Journal of an Ordinary Grief –translated by Ibrahim Muhawi (Archipelago Books, 2010)

Mural and The Dice Player  translated by Rema Hammami & John Berger (Verso, 2009)

The Butterfly’s Burden  -translated by Fady Joudah (Bloodaxe, 2007)

A River Dies of Thirst  – translated by Catherine Cobham (e-book via Cleveland, Ohio : Overdrive, 2012)  Poetic diary from his time in Ramallah, in 2006, when Israel was attacking Lebanon and Gaza.

And from Stones a State for Lovers Will be Built  (PLO Department of Culture, poster illustrated by Naji al Ali, 1985

Memory of Forgetfulness : August, Beirut, 1982  -translated with an introduction by Ibrahim Muhawi  (University of California Press, 1995)Music of Human Flesh –translated by Denys Johnson-Davies (Heinemann, 1980)

The Promise of al-Asifah : A Collection of Poems from Occupied Territories  – translated by Ibrahim Muhammed (Amman : The Palestine National Liberation Movement, 1969)

-also : Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis, and Samih al-Qasim

Victims of a Map : A Bilingual Anthology of Arabic Poetry  (Saqi Books, 2005)

See also OLDER PALESTINE HISTORY section and Najat Rahman, below.


Najwan Darwish

Nothing More to Lose  (translated by Kareem James Abu-Zaid; New York Review of Books / NYRB Poets, 2014)


Aidan Andrew Dun

Unholyland : The Rambam  (Hesperus Press, 2012)


Sharif Elmusa (University of Cairo, United Nations)

Flawed Landscape : Poems, 1987-2008  (Interllink Publications, 2008)

as co-editor with Gregory Orfalea : Grape Leaves : A Century of Arab-American Poetry  (Interlink Publications, 1999)


Al-Fateh, The Palestine National Liberation Movement

They Claim There is No Resistance : A Collection of Poems from Occupied Palestine  – translated by Sulafa Hijjawi (Al-Fateh, ca. 1969-70).  Contents : Tawfeeq Zeyad aka Zayad: The Impossible (Nazareth, September 1965), The Olive Tree (n.d.) / Mahmood Darweesh aka Mahmoud Darwish : Letter from Exile (Haifa, 1964), Investigation (Haifa, 1964), Lover from Palestine (May, 1966), Kerchiefs  (1966), The Reaction (1967) / Salem Jubran : The Exile (1965), Safad (1965), Mother (1965) / Sameeh Al-Qassem : Report of a Bankrupt (1964), Antigone (n.d.), Letter from Prison (n.d.) / Fadwa Tuqan : The Flood and the Tree (Nablus, September 1967), For Ever Palestine (Nablus, September 1967), To Christ (1968)


Ashraf Fayadh (Palestinian-Saudi poet)

Instructions Within  (The Operating System, 2016)  translated by Mona Kareem.


Khaled Furani

Silencing the Sea : Secular Rhythms of Palestinian Poetry (Stanford University Press, 2012)


Fatena Al-Gharra  [Gazan poet and radio broadcaster, endorsed by PEN and translated by the Poetry Translation Centre :]


Nahida Izzat Ghaith

I Believe in Miracles  (author, 2004)


R.L. (Robert) Green

When You Remember Deir Yassin  (Fomite, 2014) – translations into Arabic by Mousa Ishaq and Kristen Peterson-Ishaq.


Suheir Hammad (born in Jabal Husayn refugee camp in Amman)

breaking poems (New York City : Cypher Books, 2008)

ZaatarDiva (New York City : Cypher Books 2005 / 2008 edition with an audio CD)

Born Palestinian, Born Black & The Gaza Suite (UpSet Press, 2010)

Born Palestinian, Born Black (Harlem River Press, 1996)

Also note : Drops of This Story (Writers & Readers, 1996), a memoir.



Nathalie Handal (Bethlehem born)

The Republics  (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)

Poet in Andalucia  (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012)

Love and Strange Horses  (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)

The Lives of Rain  (Interlink Books, 2005) Reviewer’s blurb : “Handal’s poetry tells the story over and over of the pain of separation, the heartache of missed chances, and the tragedy of the displaced Palestinian culture. The poems wash over the reader like music, and the reader becomes witness and heir to the senseless pain created in this world, experienced and transmitted by this poet.”

The Neverfield : Poem  (Interlink Books, 2005)

as editor : The Poetry of Arab Women : A Contemporary Anthology  (Interlink Books, 2001)

as co-editor, with Tina Chang : Language for a New Century : Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (WW Norton, 2008)


Sulafa Hijjawi

Poetry of Resistance in Occupied Palestine  (Baghdad : Directorate of General Culture, 1968)


Adina Hoffman

My Happiness Bears no Relation to Happiness : A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century (Yale University Press, 2009)  Biography of Taha Muhammad Ali


Daud Kamal

A Remote Beginning : Poems  (Budleigh Sudaltern : Interim Press, c.1985)


Nuh Ibrahim (1910-1938; famous Palestinian resistance poet) :


Salma Khadra Jayyusi, editor

Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature  – 52 poets in translation, 14 Palestinian poets writing in English, short stories from 25 authors, extracts from 6 personal accounts, all in 745 pages.


Fady Joudah

The Palestine that Never Was – Five Poems, in: Penny Johnson & Raja Shedadeh, eds :Seeking Palestine – New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home (Northampton, Massachusetts : Olive Branch Press, 2013)

Poems in : 80 New Poems (Banipal No. 46, 2013)

The Earth in the Attic (Yale University Press, 2008)

Joudah translated Mahmoud Darwish : The Butterfly’s Burden (Bloodaxe, 2007) and Ghassan Zaqtan : Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me (Yale University Press, 2012)


Marwan Makhoul published his first book of poetry Ard al-passiflora al-hazinah (Land of the Sad Passiflora) in 2007 with Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa and then a third edition in Cairo in 2012. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in the Acre Theatre Festival for his first play.


Remi Kanazi

Before the Next Bomb Drops : Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine  (Chicago : Haymarket Books, 2015)  – tangental to Palestine, with verse focused worldwide; the poet’s second collection.

Poetic Injustice : Writings on Resistance and Palestine  (New York City : RoR Publications, 2011)


Walid Khazendar (b. Gaza, 1950)

Fifteen Poems Translated from the Arabic  (Agenda & Editions Charitable Trust, 1997) – translated by Dinah Manisty.

as editor & translator :  The Traces of Song : Selections from Ancient Arabic Poetry (Oxford : St Johns College Research Centre, 2005) – with illustrations by Mouneer al-Shaarani


Lisa Suhair Majaj

Geographies of Light  (Web del Sol Association, 2009)

see also FICTION section


Iman Mersel   University of Alberta (Edmonton)

These Are Not Oranges, My Love, a selection of Mersal’s work translated into English by Khaled Mattawa, (Sheep Meadow Press, 2008); read at the South Bank Poetry Parnassus Festival, London, 2012


Faysal (aka Faisal) Mikdadi

Painted into a Corner  (, 2014, two editions, one with black & white images and one with colour images) The Palestinian diaspora reflected in poems and watercolours.

Return : The Siege of Beirut  (Brian & O’Keefe, 1983) Poems in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.


Ibrahim Nasrallah (see also FICTION)

Rain Inside – Selected Poems  Translated by Omnia Amin [Zayed University, Dubai] & Rick London  (Curbstone Press, 2009)


Amjad Nasser

Shepherd of Solitude : Selected Poems, 1979-2004, translated by Khaled Mattawa (Banipal, 2009)


Kamal Nasser Nasir (Palestinian editor and liberation poet assassinated by the Israelis in 1973)  See Salma Khadra Jayyusi (editor) Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature, for the poem, Letter to Fadwa [for Fadwa Tuqan].  Poems translated into English include The Story and The Last Poem


Taha Qaraqeh

Palestine Calls  (Pilgrim Magazine, 1993)


Ali Qleibo

Jerusalem in the Heart  (Al-Quds University & Centre for Jerusalem Studies, 2000) Anthropological tour with verse, photographs and paintings.


Najat Rahman (University of Montreal)

In the Wake of the Poetic : Palestinian Artists after Darwish  (Syracuse University Press, 2015)  Publisher’s blurb : “Heralding a new period of creativity, In the Wake of the Poetic explores the aesthetics and politics of Palestinian cultural expression in the last two decades. As it increasingly gains a significant presence on the international scene, much of Palestinian art owes a debt to Mahmoud Darwish, one of the finest contemporary poets, and to Palestinian writers of his generation. Rahman maps the immense influence of Darwish’s poetry on a new generation of performance artists, visual artists, spoken-word poets, and musicians.  Through an examination of selected works by key artists—such as Suheir Hammad, Ghassan Zaqtan, Elia Suleiman, Mona Hatoum, Sharif Waked, and others—Rahman articulates an aesthetic founded on loss, dispersion, dispossession, and transformation. It interrupts dominant regimes, constituting acts of dissension and intervention. It reinscribes belonging and is oriented toward solidarity and future. This innovative wave of experimentation transforms our understanding of the national through the diasporic and the transnational, and offers a profound meditation on identity.”

with Hala Khamos Nassar : Mahmoud Darwish : Exile’s Poet  (Interlink Books, 2008)

Literary Disinheritance : The Writing of Home in the Work of Mahmoud Darwish and  [Algerian novelist and filmmaker] Assia Djebar  (Lexington Books, 2007)


Samad al-Shaik [Gaza via Saudi Arabia, poet with short stories]

Short story in Qissat (Jo Glanville, ed., Telegraph Press, 2006), plus in Palestinian compilations.


PS Sharma

Forever Palestine : A Collection of Palestinian Resistance Poems (New Delhi : PLO India Office, 1976)


Naomi Shehab-Nye

Transfer (BOA Editions, 2011)

You and Yours (BOA Editions, 2005; received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award)

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (Greenwillow Books, 2002 / HarperTempest, 2005)

as editor : The Flag of Childhood : Poems from the Middle East  (Aladdin, 2002)

Fuel (BOA Editions, 1998)

Red Suitcase (BOA Editions, 1994)

Hugging the Jukebox (Far Corner Books, 1982)


Hind Shoufani  [poet at Hay Festival Beirut, 2013]

Inkstains on the Edge of Light  (Whole World Press, 2010)

More Light Than Death Could Bear  (Beirut, 2007)


Matthew D. Staunton and Rethabile Masilo, editors

For the Children of Gaza  (Onslaught Press, 2014)  Poems and illustrations by multiple contributors.


Khalid A Suliaman

Palestine and Modern Arab Poetry  (Zed Books, 1984)


Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

Water & Salt  (Red Hen Press, 2017)  Diaspora verse lamenting loss but retaining identity.


Fadwa Tuqan

A Mountainous Journey : An Autobiography -translated by Olive Kenny / with poetry translated by Naomi Shihab Nye; editor Salma Khadra Jayyusi (Women’s Press, 1990)   See also : Al-Fateh poetry and plus numerous collections in Arabic.

Daily Nightmares : Ten Poems  – translated by Yusra A. Saleh (Palestinian Writers Union, 1991 / Vantage Press, 1998)


Vacy Vlanza, editor / poetry by Ramzy Baroud, Jehan BseisoSamah Sabawi

I Remember My Name  (Novum Pro, 2016)


Nadia Yaqub (University of North Carolina)

Pens, Swords, and the Springs of Art : The Oral Poetry Dueling of Palestinian Weddings in Galilee (Leiden : Brill, 2007)


Ghassan Zaqtan (born Beit Jala, Director of the Literature section of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture)

Like a Straw Bird, it Follows Me – and other Poems  (Yale University Press, 2013) translated by Fady Joudan.


Rafeef Ziadeh

London-based performance poet with no printed publications but an audio CD, Hadeeland is famous for We Teach Life, Sir, not on the CD but available on You Tube.


Lorene Zarou Zouzounis (Palestinian-American San Francisco poet)

Inquire Within :  Selected Poems  (San Francisco: University of Mars, 1987)