A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry

by Naomi Foyle in Brighton, East Sussex, England

A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry

To pay contributors' fees and printing costs, and to donate to the legal campaigns of imprisoned poets Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour.

by Naomi Foyle in Brighton, East Sussex, England

We did it
On 15th October 2017 we successfully raised £1,220 with 45 supporters in 21 days

'Against barbarity,' said the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008), 'poetry can resist only by cultivating an attachment to human frailty, like a blade of grass growing on a wall as armies march by.' 

A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry brings together, in English and Arabic,  new work by poets from the Palestinian territories, from the diaspora, and from within the disputed borders of Israel. Presenting work by Marwan Makhoul, Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, Fatena Al-Gharra, Dareen Tatour, Ashraf Fayadh, Fady Joudah, Naomi Shihab Nye, Deema K. Shehabi, Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Farid Bitar, Shahid NWA, Sara Saleh and Mahmoud Darwish, and featuring a 12 page introduction by the book's editor, poet and activist Naomi Foyle, the anthology 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.

Smokestack Books is a small independent press that receives no public subsidy. The publisher and the editor, Naomi Foyle, are working pro bono. The book is partially funded by a research grant from the University of Chichester, awarded to the editor, which has allowed her to pay a small contributors' fee of £10 a page.  This crowdfunding campaign seeks to increase this fee to a more professional rate; to cover design and printing costs for the book; and to raise money toward the legal fees of Ashraf Fayadh and Dareen Tatour, both currently imprisoned, respectively in Saudi Arabia and Israel, on charges related to their poetry.  

Translators: Josh Calvo, Raphael Cohen, Katharine Halls, Sarah Maguire and Anna Murison [c/o the Poetry Translation Centre], Tariq Al-Haydar, Andrew Leber, Waleed Al-Bazoon, Wejdan Shamala

Monies raised to support Ashraf Fayadh will be donated to the English PEN campaign on his behalf.  Funds raised for Dareen Tatour will be donated to the Free Dareen Tatour campaign

 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

For a pledge of £5 - £19.99 you'll get a warm fuzzy feeling and - unless you tell us you want to be anonymous - a big thank you shout out on our Facebook page!

£20 or more

£20 Reward

For a pledge of £20 - 29.99, we'll send you a copy of A Blade of Grass with your name listed in the back as an 'Olive Branch Donor.' As well as being symbols of peace and endurance, olive trees are central to the Palestinian economy, so this is a highly dignified pledge group to belong to.

£30 or more

£30 Reward

For a pledge of £30-39.99, we'll send you a copy of A Blade of Grass with your name in the back as a 'Kanafeh Donor'; plus another poetry book of your choice from the Options box on the 'Select Reward' page. Kanafeh (also transliterated as knafeh) is a traditional Palestinian cheese and syrup pastry, so this a very sweet pledge group to belong to!

£40 or more

£40 Reward

For a pledge of £40-49.99, we'll send you a copy of A Blade of Grass with your name listed in the back as a 'Dabke Donor'; plus your choice of two other poetry books from the Options box on the Select Reward page. * Dabke is the traditional Palestinian dance, so this is an exuberant pledge group! *(The site only lets you choose one extra book, but we'll email you to ask for the other.)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

For a pledge of £50-74.99, we'll send you a copy of A Blade of Grass with your name listed in the back as a 'Qabbeh Donor'; plus your choice of 3 other poetry books from those listed in the Options box on the Select Reward page*. The Qabbeh is the embroidered square on the front of a traditional Palestinian women's robe, so this is a colourful pledge group! *(The site only lets you choose 1 extra book but we'll email you about the others.)

£75 or more

£75 Reward

For a pledge of £75- 99.99, we'll send you two copies of A Blade of Grass, with your name listed in the back as a 'Sahja Donor'; plus your choice of three of the poetry books in the Options box of the Select Reward page.* A Sahja is a traditional Palestinian wedding song, so this is a very joyful pledge group! *(The site only lets you choose one extra book, but we'll email you to ask for the others.)

£100 or more

£100 Reward

For a donation of £100 or more, we'll send you three copies of the anthology with your name listed in the back as an 'Oud Donor'; plus your choice of three of the poetry books in the Options box of the Select Reward page.* The oud is a 12 or 13 string pear-shaped lute that produces complex overtones, so this is a truly sublime pledge group! *(The site only lets you choose one extra book, but we'll email you to ask for the others.)


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