Events

Poetry Reading: An Evening of Syrian Poetry

Fri, December 6, 2013 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all poetry readings »)

Free and Open to the Public

Doors Opens at 630 P.M.

With the plight of Syria in the headlines, and the fate of the nation uncertain, many of us are inundated with tremendous amounts of misinformation and un-nuanced analysis. Complex and fraught times, however, have often been creative times; and keen observers have learned that artists are the most potent of historians, witnesses and interpreters of the tribulations of the time. This evening, we will bring together five passionate voices. They will share their poetry, in Arabic and English, and offer rich, complicated and powerful reflections. Representing a broad spectrum of disciplines and expertise, these acclaimed poets come from various backgrounds in Syria. And while they each have a distinct style and poetic rendering, they all come from the highly respected and profoundly fertile terrain that is Modern Syrian Poetry. Syria has produced some of the most highly acclaimed and internationally admired poets from the Arabic speaking world, and each of these five poets stands along that millennia long trajectory. Departing from some of the constraints of classical poetry, these poets experiment with a variety of forms and offer an array of perspectives.

Najib George Awad is a Professor of Theology at Hartford Seminary, CT. Born in Lattakia, Syria, Najib has lived and worked in the Middle East, Europe and North America. In addition to various texts, articles and monographs on theological subjects, he has published three collections of poetry in Arabic: طقوس حافية (Barefoot Rituals); على شفتي قبلة لن أحصل عليها (On my Lips a Kiss I will Not Get); and لا أحمل اسم أحد الملائكة (I Do not Hold any Angel’s Name). His latest volume,الخريف أحد معارفي (The Fall is One of my Acquaintances), is forthcoming.

Firas Sulaiman is a poet and Arabic instructor born in Tartus, Syria. He has multiple publications in Arabic including six collections of poetry and a volume forthcoming in English translation. He has also published a collection of short stories, experimental fiction and numerous articles, in addition to appearing in several anthologies. His work has been translated into English, French, Romanian, Spanish and Croatian.


Hussam Jefee is a poet, musician and academic psychiatrist. He was born in Lattakia, Syria, and he is currently in Psychosomatic Medical training at Yale University. In his capacity as a musician and oud player, he has initiated and recorded various projects in the U.S. In 2008 he published his first poetry collection in Arabic: فتّاحة الأمل المعلّب (The Opener of Canned Hope).

Akram Alkatreb was born and raised in Salamiah, Syria; a city renowned for its poets. He attended the University of Damascus, graduating with a degree in law. Alkatreb has worked as an art critic and journalist since 1996 contributing to many major Arabic speaking newspapers in Lebanon, London and Syria. He is a part of the movement known as the “new wave” of Syrian poets and he has published five poetry collections.

Janset Ali was born in Damascus, Syria. She graduated from the University of Damascus with a degree in psychology and she currently works in the area of early childhood development and education. Her collection of poems is entitledStumbling Upon the River. Her most recent collection is in progress.

Samantha Kostmayer Sulaiman is a writer, editor and translator from New York City. She graduated from Columbia University, CUNY and the American University in Cairo with degrees in history, forced migration and law. She worked in Southern Africa and Egypt as an activist and researcher and she is currently working on a volume of short stories. Her translations have appeared in The Wolf, The Manhattan Review, Washington Square, and various anthologies. Her writing has appeared in English and Croatian.

Last updated: 2013-12-04 10:54:12

Najib George Awad
Najib George Awad
Firas Sulaiman
Firas Sulaiman
Hussam Jefee
Hussam Jefee
Akram Alkatreb
Akram Alkatreb
Janset Ali
Janset Ali
Samantha Kostmayer Sulaiman
Samantha Kostmayer Sulaiman

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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(646) 732 3261
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