By David Varno
British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s feature on war poetry for the Saturday Guardian, “Exit Wounds,” starts by highlighting a large body of non-Anglo work, including Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Lorca, Zbigniew Herbert, and Mahmoud Darwish. Given this range, it’s disappointing not to see anything in translation included in her otherwise strong collection.
The announcement of Palestinian-Dutchman Ramsey Nasr as The Netherlands’ new poet laureate has highlighted the prominence of Dutch-language writing in Arab literature. And the current issue of London-based Banipalhas an extensive portfolio of Arab writing in Dutch, as Saudi Gazette reports. The article mentions Abdelkader Benali, whose excerpt from May the Sun Shine Tomorrow, translated from the Dutch by Susan Massotty, was published in our April 2006 issue.
The longlist for the 2009 Man Asian Prize was announced this past Thursday, and is comprised of 24 unpublished works of Asian fiction written in or translated into English. Judges include Pankaj Mishra, Colm Toibin, and Gish Gen. Stay tuned for the shortlist in October, and winner announcement on November 16.
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