I’m linking to a six-part blog I wrote for English PEN around the publication in December 08 of Mourid Barghouti’s Midnight & Other Poems, to which I contributed a substantial introduction [you can read it here.]
Midnight is available from ‘all good bookshops’ as well as its publisher whose resourceful pages begin here. A properly weighty review of Midnight by Boyd Tonkin of The Independent appeared in January 09.
Mourid Barghouti’s excellent website is here. His classic memoir I Saw Ramallah is widely available, not least from its UK publisher whose site also contains an extract which demonstrates how essential, tough-minded and exquisite it is. A sequel appeared in Arabic in 09 [with a title that translates as; I Was Born There, I Was Born Here] and is on its way into English.
The Bombing and the Brink
by Guy Mannes-Abbott [with thanks to Sophie Mayer and English PEN World Atlas.]
Words did not and cannot defend displaced and besieged civilian populations against the use of white phosphorus, for example, but they can and should undermine attempts to justify or deny that use and, most critically, hold its users to account.