Syrian poet Maram al-Massri
[from her book of poetry: “Red Cherry on a White Tile Floor”]
Whenever my heart
hears a knocking
it opens its doors.
Russian poet Vera Pavlova
[from her book of poetry: “If There is Something to Desire: One Hundred Poems”]
I broke your heart.
Now barefoot I tread
Emily Dickinson’s poem “I’m Nobody,” set to music by Israeli singer Efrat Ben Zur
Irish poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
The Language Issue:
I place my hope on the water
in this little boat
of the language, the way a body might put
in a basket of intertwined
its underside proofed
with bitumen and pitch,
then set the whole thing down amidst
and bulrushes by the edge
of a river
only to have it hither and thither,
not knowing where it might end up;
in the lap, perhaps,
of some Pharaoh’s daughter.
Image of Juana via Creative Commons
Self-taught scholar and collector of indigenous musical instruments, Juana Inés de la Cruz, the first Mexican poet.
Indian poet Kamala Surayya, i.e. Kamala Das, known for her fiery verses and honest, autobiographical words about female sexuality.
American poet Maya Angelou.
You can read her snarky poem “The Health-Food Diner,” and my reflections on her amazing work in this article published by Alimentum Journal: The Literature of Food.
Aunty Tek Philip (Caribbean folklorist, one of the first women in Grenada to have a career in education. She was a renowned storyteller, teacher and principal.)
Murasaki Shikibu (The world’s first modern novelist.)
Ani Idrus (Journalist from West Sumatra, founder of numerous educational institutions for children, and co-founder of Waspada daily newspaper in 1947.)
Grace Mera Molisa (Poet and activist, the first woman from the traditional island nation of Vanuatu to earn a university degree, creator of Vanuatu’s National Arts Festival. Sometimes called the one of the three “foremothers of Pasifika poetry,” Molisa’s first book of poetry, Blackstone, was published in 1983.)
Image via Creative Commons
“Things acquire new meanings at sunset. Memories wake and call, like a signal of death at sunset, like the beat of a song not sung to anyone…March is a month of storms and lust. Spring looks on, like a thought between two people, between a long winter and a long summer. I remember nothing but allegory.” – Ode by an Ancient Arab Poet
“I am the Adam of two Edens, I lost them twice. So expel me slowly, And kill me quickly, Beneath my olive tree…” – I Have Behind The Sky A Sky
“The days have taught you not to trust happiness because it hurts when it deceives.” – A River Dies of Thirst [journals]
My article for Bthere Magazine includes a quest into the forest, hunting for fresh goat cheese.
Images of the food and forests outside Ein Karem by Leigh
My short nonfiction piece, titled “Fresh Meat,” was recently published in the international journal of War, Literature & the Arts. It is the most intimate story I’ve ever published. And also, somehow, it also feels the most rewarding.
Images by Leigh
A U.N. resolution passed over 10 years ago requires women’s involvement in conflict resolutions. But that has little bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict, where women are far from the power roles on either side…
Read more at Women’s eNews
(also in Arabic)
Images of the separation barrier in Israel-Palestine by Leigh
Israel now has relations with 44 African nations, more than at any time in the Jewish nation’s history.
Read more about fledging environmental connections between Israel and African states in my two-part series (part 1, part 2) published by the Green Prophet.
Image of imported teas on sale in Jerusalem by Leigh
Andrés Neuman’s Traveler of the Century reflects Latin America’s “total novel,” brutally examining all aspects of society through diverse yet overlapping themes. It contemplates a myriad of subjects: investigating contemporary politics through the lens of history, the nature of belonging, memory, citizenship, aesthetics, language, love, dreams, time, and the performance of propriety, to name a few…
Fawzia Koofi, Afghanistan’s first female parliamentary speaker, is currently a leading candidate for the country’s 2014 presidential elections. Her recently published memoir “The Favored Daughter,” is reaching a global audience. It has now been sold in 20 different countries and published in English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish. As much as “The Favored Daughter” is a political memoir it is also a story about relationships between women, mothers, daughters, and strangers.
“This is what I live for,” Koofi writes, “and what I know I will die for.”
Read more at Women News Network
My father used to tell me stories about nights he spent in the mountains, living off the land and eating insects. As a child, I would reply to those tales by wrinkling my nose and exclaiming, “Ewww!” The desire to eat wild things seemed so distant from my urban California life. Little did I know that when I moved to nearby San Francisco, I’d be seeking out exotic proteins from innovative chefs…
The latest novel by Spanish writer Carloz Ruiz Zafón opens on a cold winter’s day in Barcelona. Business is abysmal at Sempre & Sons bookshop. The Sempre family’s loquacious friend, Fermín Romero de Torres, offers to parade in his underwear by the bookstore window to incite “strong literary emotions” from females passing by. Thus begins Zafón’s venture into The Prisoner of Heaven, the third part of his multimillion-selling literary series.
Zafron’s previous samplings, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game, are neither prequels nor sequels to this third installment. Zafón has created a labyrinth of stories, free from chronology, with intertwining characters, locations, themes, and storylines. All three novels revolve around an occult library beneath the streets of Barcelona, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The novels are gothic, stylized, romantic tales driven by passion for the written word.
The protagonist of The Angel’s Game is a journalist-turned-novelist who sells his soul for the love of writing. The Prisoner of Heaven continues that theme of the publishing industry’s shadowy deviance, adding to it the criticism of Spanish literary circles. The Shadow of the Wind chronicles the adventures of a young reader, Daniel, the son of Sempre & Sons bookshop owner. The Prisoner of Heaven subsequently unfolds layers of Daniel’s story. But it also explores Fermín’s dark past as a Catalonian intelligence agent, imprisoned in the Montjuic Castle for espionage.
Like all of Zafón’s stories, this one draws symbolism and parallels from a classic work of literature. The Prisoner of Heaven’s is The Count of Monte Cristo. In this third installment Fermín meets David Martín, the protagonist of The Angel’s Game, while in prison. They use the classic tale by Dumas as code. Together the two literature lovers, Fermín and David, plan an escape. In the Montjuic Castle we find how all of the characters’ of Zafón’s stories are connected through a single villain, Valls.
Valls is an aspiring writer, without talent or modesty, who rose to power through marriage, murder, and connections during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. With a sadistic ego, Valls begins his political ascent as director of the prison in Montjuic Castle. The Prisoner of Heavenis Zafón’s most blatantly political and historical work so far, but it is all still couched securely in fiction by the familiar, dramatic exaggeration in Zafón’s prose.
"I held on to the skin and flesh thinking the doctors would be able to reattach it,” Bina Akhter described how a group of men attacked Akhter with acid when she was fourteen years old.
The typical image of acid attack victims in Bangladesh is the common description of a women victim who is someone who has denied a man by rejecting his advances. But in reality acid attacks effect both genders. It also affects many children. Many victims and survivors like Akhter also have had no previous conflict with their attackers.
Akhter’s attack was intended to terrorize her family into obedience when a gang of men, with local political connections, broke into her house to abduct her cousin.
“The acid was dripping into my mouth. I could taste it,” Akhter said.
Chowdhury researched and gathered interviews for over a decade before she completed her latest book, “Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh.”
Read more at Women News Network