Book Launches: ‘A Blade of Grass,’ ‘Louder than Hearts,’ ‘All the Battles’

Again, ArabLit’s editor: ”
Boxing, perhaps more than any other sport, is made for the modern novel. Advertisements

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On Sunday in Dubai, Zeina Hashem Beck is hosting a launch event for her most recent collection,   Louder Than Hearts,   about which ArabLit’s editor said, “[it] carves out a shattering, sonorous new language from the interleaving of Arabic and English. Robin Moger,   launches November 21 in London:
Designed by Belal Khaled. Together, they enabled two donations of £240 to be made to the legal campaigns of Palestinian poets Ashraf Fayadh (jailed in Saudi Arabia) and Dareen Tatour (jailed in Israel). It brings together not just words from the two languages but their poetic forms, songs, stock characters and collective memories. It’s about masculinity, social class, the contemporary media, movement, and choice. The sport is pared down to the most essential conflict, and what’s at stake is much more than winning – there’s also the risk of injury, disability, and perhaps even death. The A Blade of Grass   will be held at London’s P21 Gallery and will feature readings from   poets Mustafa Abu Sneineh (Jerusalem/London) and   Farid Bitar (Jericho/New York), translators Katharine Halls and Waleed Al-Bazoon, and the book’s editor, Naomi Foyle. It’s a page-turner that could easily make non-readers fall in love with fiction.”
The event also features superstar translator Robin Moger,   who has also brought into English Otared by Mohammad Rabie and Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy, and also posts fresh work at his blog, Those interested can register for a free ticket at Eventbrite or pay £3 at the door. “Like Oates’s On Boxing, Abu Taleb’s book is not just about the thrills and anxieties of the sport. The readings will be followed by a brief Q&A. The London launch of   A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry   is today, while Zeina Hashem Beck’s   Louder than Hearts   launches in Dubai on Sunday, November 19, and Maan Abu Taleb’s   All the Battles,   trans. Robin Moger, at Alef Bookstores Hammersmith location. From the English, we hear echoes of the Harlem Renaissance, Nina Simone, William Shakespeare, Homer, a Greek chorus, ABC News and Franz Kafka.”
On November 21 in London, readers and pugilists can enjoy the launch of Maan Abu Taleb’s   All The Battles,   trans. His translation for Writing Revolution won the 2013 English PEN Award for outstanding writing in translation, but he is distinctly under-celebrated. Saed thinks of one of his matches as the “latest performance of a timeless tale, told in a language that predated language itself”. A Blade of Grass   — a bilingual anthology that brings together new work by poets from “the Palestinian territories, from the diaspora, and from within the disputed borders of Israel” — was partially funded by a research grant from the University of Chichester and partially by a successful crowdfunding campaign. As a species, we have grown up around fist fighting.