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Translating Pre-Islamic Arabic Poetry: Challenges and Opportunities.

Kareem James Abu-Zeid, PhD Translator, Writer, and Editor
Monday, October 22, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
144 Louis A. Simpson International Building
Monday, October 22, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm

This talk will focus on what is often considered the very first text of the Arabic language, Imru al-Qays’ long mu’allaqa or “hanging poem” (6th century CE). Kareem will read most of his new translation of the mu’allaqa and discuss the creative challenges and opportunities presented by this text and the other pre-Islamic “hanging poems,” including questions of translating words vs. translating images, and the issue of how to convey elements of a very foreign environmental and cultural landscape

 Kareem James Abu-Zeid is a translator of poets and novelists from across the Arab world, including Adonis (Syria), Najwan Darwish (Palestine), Rabee Jaber (Lebanon), and Dunya Mikhail (Iraq). He has received an NEA grant (2018), PEN Center USA’s Translation Award (2017), Poetry Magazine's translation prize (2014), residencies from the Banff Center and the Lannan Foundation, a Fulbright Fellowship (Germany), and a CASA Fellowship (Egypt). He also translates from French and German, and has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. He currently splits his time between Santa Fe (New Mexico) and southern India

Sponsored by
The Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication