Tell it slant, Glasgow: Book Launch: A Bird Is Not A Stone.

alasdair and abla oudeh

alasdair and abla oudehLast week (2 June, 2014) I went along to Tell it slant, Poetry Shop, 134 Renfrew Street, for the launch of A Bird is Not a Stone; an anthology of contemporary Palestinian poetry.

The collection features poetry by 25 contemporary Palestinian poets and as many Scots writers, including the makar Liz Lochhead, Costa Award winner Kathleen Jamie and Guardian Fiction Prize winner Alasdair Gray.

 The Palestinian poems were translated through a ‘bridge method’ where translators produced literal translations and then new versions of the poems were created in Scots, English and Shetlandic. 

It was a magical event with the venue filled to capacity.  Abla Oudeh read the original Palestinian poems and the Arabic language never sounded more beautiful. The new versions were read by Alasdair Gray, Henry King, Magi Gibson, Ellen McAteer and Liz Lochhead – everyone in the audience was riveted.

It was a strange and very satisfying night –  I’m sure others shared my feelings of humility, pleasure and pride. The book is a fantastic achievement and it was an honour to have been  at its Glasgow launch.

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I loved Samih Mohsen’s poem, which was recreated into the Scots’ Haivers by James Robertson and the English, Nonsense by HenryKing.  These brought a smile to our faces but the evening held variety and a poem that struck at our hearts and reminded us of the stark situation in Palestine, was Tareq al-Karmy’s poem. It has been recreated by Liz Lochhead as About The Wee Girl

(An extract. Page 4)

Man, you saw how the soldier shot the wee girl

sraight through what

would have become her left breast

She continues to die, over and over, like a

perpetual withering of young green leaves. . .

Ellen McAteer’s Detention, recreated from the poem by Majid Abu Ghoush, is dramatic, beautiful and frightening.

(An extract: page 148)

In my mind

passion is painful

a bonfire of moths

The moon, like your eyes

(night and magic as they die)

yearns for morning . . .

Also very moving were the poems based on Bisan Abu Khaled’s poem:

Not Considered in Poems of Pushkin by Alasdair Gray

(An extract. Page 25)

Will one day none see on a new faked map

the name of she who is mine,

my loved homeland Palestine?

Also based on the same poem:

What Pushkin’s poems never said by Magi Gibson:

(An extract. Page 26)

Her name is and always was Palesine

My song. . .

my homeland . . .

my face full of sorrow.

a-bird-is-not-a-stone-195x300The book is fascinating and the night at Tell it slant was wonderful. It made you proud to be a Glaswegian.

A Bird Is Not A Stone: £9.99  Buy the book at Freight Books

https://www.facebook.com/tellitslantbooks

Pat Byrne, 10th June, 2014,

 

 

 

 

A Bird Is Not A Stone, Glasgow Launch, Tell it Slant, Monday 2 June

 

a bird is not a stoneA Bird Is Not A Stone, Glasgow Launch

Monday, June 2 at 6:00pm

Tell it Slant

Tell it Slant is delighted to host the premier launch of A Bird is Not a Stone, a groundbreaking anthology of Palestinian poetry translated into all the languages of Scotland.

The collection features poetry by 25 contemporary Palestinian poets and as many Scots writers, including the makar Liz Lochhead, Costa Award winner Kathleen Jamie and Guardian Fiction Prize winner Alasdair Gray.

The evening will include readings of poems from the collection in both the original and translations.

Liz Lochhead, Alasdair Gray, Henry King, Magi Gibson, and Ellen McAteer will all be reading.

More information on the book can be found at http://abirdisnotastone.wordpress.com/

– See more at: http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/a-bird-is-not-a-stone-glasgow-launch-tell-it-slant-monday-2-june/#sthash.qS1B3T8q.dpuf

Liz Lochhead, Literary Lates, Cottiers, June 13th, 2014
Poetry in the Park with Glasgow Women's Library 12th June, 2014, An Clachan, West End Festival

This section: Books, Talks, Poetry Events

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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