Book release: “Poets for Palestine”

Sixty years after the dispossession of the Palestinian people, Poets For Palestine, a unique collection of poetry, spoken word, hip-hop, and art has been released. Unifying a diverse range of poets who have used their words to elevate the consciousness of humanity, this book aims to bridge a younger generation of poets with those who, for decades, have cultivated and strengthened the poetic medium.

The anthology includes poems by the late Mahmoud Darwish, Naomi Shihab Nye, Amiri Baraka, Suheir Hammad, Nathalie Handal, E. Ethelbert Miller, D.H. Melhem, Junichi P. Semitsu, Fawzia Afzal Khan, Annemarie Jacir, Ibtisam Barakat, Tahani Salah, Remi Kanazi, Ragtop from the Philistines, among many others.

All of the proceeds of this volume will go towards funding future cultural endeavors in the US that highlight Arab artistry.

The concept of this collection was conceived after a night of spoken word at the historic Made in Palestine art exhibit in New York, in 2006. Invigorated by the capacity of spoken word to enliven a crowd, Al Jisser, collaborating with the event’s host, Remi Kanazi, decided to publish a brief chapbook to capture the night’s vivacity.

Venturing further into the project, Al Jisser chose to send out a call for poetry that reached a multitude of countries, receiving submissions from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the broader Arab world, Europe, Australia and the United States. They chose not to limit the subject solely to the topic of Palestine, instead widening the scope to issues as varied as the ongoing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as poetry on Sudan and Lebanon. The aim is to convey that the basic appeal of justice is a fundamentally, irreducibly human appeal.

At a time when conditions for Palestinians have become increasingly devastating, Poets For Palestine seeks to give humanity its proper voice and attempts to further demonstrate the role art takes in transmitting and projecting the enormous weight of compassion.

Poets For Palestine is available on www.PoetsForPalestine.com. The book will soon be featured in independent and progressive bookstores throughout the US as well as on Amazon.com.