مصائب قوم عند قوم فوائد

Poems by Ibrahim Elsayed and Hermes

Depending on how you’re counting, seven or ten poems by Ibrahim Elsayed and Hermes, from their respective collections أحد عشر كلبا (Merit, 2014) [Eleven Dogs] and كلاشنكوفي الحبيب (Dar Al Sharqiyat, 2014) [My Darling Kalashnikov]. Poems from both these collections and others by these poets appear in The Tahrir of Poems: Seven Contemporary Egyptian Poets edited and translated by Maged Zaher, and much more about Maged’s book, Ibrahim, Hermes and others can be found here

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Hash and Gout

A new poem, حشيش ونقرس, by Yasser Abdel Latif (who doesn’t have gout) and which was published recently in أخبار الأدب here.

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Younis in the Belly of the Whale

The title story from poet, novelist and short story writer Yasser Abdel Latif’s Sawiris Prize-winning collection يونس في أحشاء الحوت (Kotob Khan, 2011) [Younis in the Belly of the Whale].

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Mit Nama

Another extract from Youssef Rakha’s باولو [Paulo], recently acquired by Dar Al-Saqi, the second novel in a planned trilogy and the sequel to التماسيح (Dar Al-Saqi, 2012) [The Crocodiles]. The novel takes the form of fifty nine sequential blog entries numbered in reverse (i.e. starting with 59 and ending on 1), authored by the eponymous Paulo, one of the central characters from The Crocodiles, now an ex-poet, a figure on the independent cultural scene, a revolutionary and a covert operative for the shadowy Wadie Bey, who narrates his adventures in revolutionary and post-revolutionary Egypt. This extract finds Paulo addressing his much-abused cat, Atrees.

The terms naqibusra and shu’ba are jargon from the Muslim Brotherhood’s internal organization. A naqib is the head or “captain” of an usra (family), a cell of maybe five or six Brothers, which itself belongs to a larger shu’ba, or “branch”. 

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There, and other poems by Mohab Nasr

Ten new poems by Mohab Nasr, as yet unpublished.

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Naguib Mahfouz

An extract from novelist and critic Ibrahim Farghali’s Sawiris Prize-winning novel أبناء الجبلاوي (Dar Al Ain, 2009) [The Sons of Gebelawi]. The works of the late Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz have mysteriously vanished from shelves and stores across Cairo and as the government attempts to grapple with the situation, strange rumours begin to spread:

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Passion Week

Selections from Mina Nagy’s collection أسبوع الآلام [Passion Week], published in PDF format and available in its entirety here, with cover and layout by Youssef Rakha. As Mina explains in the foreword, the poems follow the pattern of the Coptic liturgy for Passion Week, or Holy Week as it’s otherwise known, hence the headings. The Common Burial Prayer is a mass funeral rite for all those who die during the course of the week. Mina has also published another poetry collection entitled سحر حقيقي (Dar Al Ain, 2011) [A Real Magic] and a short story collection الجندب يلهو حرا في شوارع القاهرة (Dar Kalima, 2013) [The grasshopper frolics free in the streets of Cairo]

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11 poems by Ahmed Shafie

Eleven poems from Ahmed Shafie’s collection وقصائد أخرى (Dar Al Nahda, 2012) [And Other Poems]. Youssef Rakha has written about this collection here with many fine translations woven into the text.

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Three chapters from the first half of Alaa Khaled‘s meditation on the city of his birth وجوه سكندرية (Dar El Shorouk, 2012) [Alexandrian Faces]. One of the most important figures in the development of the prose poem in Egypt he has written six poetry collections, the first published in 1990 and the most recent in 2012, as well as five collections of prose (including this book) and one novel, ألم خفيف كريشة طائر ينتقل بهدوء من مكان لآخر (Dar Al Shorouk, 2009) [A faint pain like a bird’s feather moving gently from place to place]. He is the co-founder and editor of أمكنة [Places], an independent literary magazine issued out of Alexandria and concerned with place and location, which was started in 1990 by Khaled, his wife Salwa Rashad and Mohab Nasr.

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Captain Talat

An excerpt from Muhamed Abdel Nabi’s very beautiful, moving and clever debut novel رجوع الشيخ (Rawafid, 2012) [The Return of the Sheikh], which was longlisted for the 2013 IPAFMuhamed has three short story collections to his name, وردة للخونة (General Authority for Cultural Palaces, 2003) [A Rose for the Traitors], شبح أنطون تشيخوف (First Edition: Dar Fikra, 2008; Second Edition: General Egyptian Book Organization, 2012) [The Ghost of Anton Chekhov], which won the 2010 Sawiris Award for short stories by a young writer–with the title story translated here by Anna Swank–and most recently, كما يذهب السيل بقرية نائمة (Merit, 2013) [As the Flood Sweeps Away a Sleeping Village]. Meanwhile, بعد أن يخرج الأمير للصيد (Merit, 2007) [After the Prince Goes Out to Hunt], is a set of seven separate but interrelated texts. And then as if all that isn’t enough he’s a prolific translator from English to Arabic.

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