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Poetry from the Ashes of War: Soheil Najm

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

"‘How can you extract poems and shrapnel from your chest / at the very same time?' . . .How do they do it? How is it even possible to write poetry in present-day Iraq?" - Atlanta Review editor Daniel Veach

Soheil Najm, one of the leading voices in Iraqi literature, discusses cultural and poetic responses to war and the US invasion of Iraq, art and letters in contemporary Iraq and reads from his work in both Arabic and English. Viewing poetry as both a shield and a sword, Najm will touch on the risks that Iraq’s poets have taken (often bringing imprisonment, exile, and death) for the words they commit to page and print; and how poetry is not a luxury in Iraq, but a vital part of the struggle for the nation’s future.


NOTE: Christopher Merrill who was originally planned to speak today will not be able to be here due to illness

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