‘Against barbarity,’ wrote the celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008), ‘poetry can resist only by cultivating an attachment to human fragility, like a blade of grass growing on a wall as armies march by.’
A Blade of Grass brings together, in English and in Arabic, new work by poets from the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, from the Palestinian diaspora and from within the disputed borders of Israel.
Including poems by Maya Abu Alhayyat, Shahid NWA and Fady Joudah, it represents part of the flourishing cultural resistance of the Palestinian people to decades of displacement, occupation, exile and bombardment. Voices fresh and seasoned converse with history, sing to the land, and courageously nurture an attachment to human fragility. Written in hip-hop rhythms, free verse and in traditional forms, these poems bear witness both to catastrophe and to the powerful determination to survive it.
Blades of Grass includes new poems by Ashraf Fayadh, currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia on charges of apostasy, sentenced to eight years and 800 lashes. A percentage of the sales of this book will be donated to English PEN’s campaign for Fayadh’s release.