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Advances in Embroidery

AHMAD AL-ASHQAR

Original poems | Translations of Mahmoud Darwish

Advances in Embroidery is the author’s effort to bridge his experience as a Palestinian poet of the diaspora with that of one who had been inspired by the land, written about the land, and lived on the land itself. Ahmad Al-Ashqar’s translations of Mahmoud Darwish’s lesser-known poems engage in a dialogue with his own energetic poetry to underscore universal themes of humanity that transcend nationalism, resistance, and other symbols typically associated with Palestinian identity.

Sandwich Series #1

Publication date: 11/3/2017

ISBN: 978-0-9990737-0-4

Price: $15

Named on Brooklyn Rail's Best 25 Poetry Books of 2017

AHMAD AL-ASHQAR is a nomadic, romantic, obsessive Palestinian-American poet, translator, and educator. He was born in Kuwait, but soon after his birth, at the start of the Gulf War, his family was displaced first to Jordan and then to the United States. He spent much of his life in Chicago, where he remained close to his traditions and roots in a large, thriving Palestinian community. Ahmad first fell in love with language through rap music and spoken word, before discovering his love for written poetry. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he moved to Dubai to teach English, before returning to the U.S. to complete an MFA in Creative Writing at the New School. He now lives in Chicago.

MAHMOUD DARWISH (1941-2008) was regarded during his lifetime as the Palestinian national poet. He published more than 30 volumes of poetry, won numerous awards for his works, and has been translated into 20 languages. As a young man living in Haifa, Darwish faced house arrest and imprisonment for his political activism and for reading his poetry publicly. After joining the Communist Party of Israel, he left for Russia, where he attended the University of Moscow for one year, before moving on to Cairo. He lived in exile for twenty-six years, between Beirut and Paris, before returning in 1996 to settle in Ramallah in the West Bank. He died in Houston.