Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry

Overview

At no other time in American history has our imagination been so engrossed with the Arab experience. An indispensable and historic volume, Inclined to Speak gathers together poems, from the most important contemporary Arab American poets, that shape and alter our understanding of this experience. These poems also challenge us to reconsider what it means to be American. Impressive in its scope, this book provides readers with an astonishing array of poetic sensibilities, touching on every aspect of the human ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $20.95   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

At no other time in American history has our imagination been so engrossed with the Arab experience. An indispensable and historic volume, Inclined to Speak gathers together poems, from the most important contemporary Arab American poets, that shape and alter our understanding of this experience. These poems also challenge us to reconsider what it means to be American. Impressive in its scope, this book provides readers with an astonishing array of poetic sensibilities, touching on every aspect of the human condition. Whether about culture, politics, loss, art, or language itself, the poems here engage these themes with originality, dignity, and an unyielding need not only to speak, but also to be heard.

Here are thirty-nine poets offering up 160 poems. Included in the anthology are Naomi Shihab Nye, Samuel Hazo, D. H. Melhem, Lawrence Joseph, Khaled Mattawa, Mohja Khaf, Matthew Shenoda, Kazim Ali, Nuar Alsadir, Fady Joudah, and Lisa Suhair Majaj. Charara has written a lengthy introduction about the state of Arab American poetry in the country today and short biographies of the poets and provided an extensive list of further readings.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Jim Beschta
Unity is an especially significant challenge to every anthology and Inclined to Speak is notably successful in this taxing area. It is obviously consistent in genre and the ethnic relationship of its authors, but the thematic cohesion of the content, resulting from gathering minority voices disenfranchised by a specific cause, is unusual. Although the poems are varied, as should be expected, the effects of 9/11 and the Palestinian situation are a recurrent themes broached by a number of these authors. While this collection proves timely in a sociological/political sense, it is the quality of the poetry itself that most recommends this book. As important as the themes of war and diaspora prove to be, perhaps it is the treatment of generations and individuals that is the most dramatically moving. In "Blood," Naomi Shihab Nye says, "I call my father, we talk around the news./It is too much for him,/neither of his two languages can reach it." There is universality to this human tragedy. Much of the work, however, is far less serious or serious in other veins, but equally universal. For example, Eliot Khalil Wilson opens "Wedding Vows" with his promise to … "mind like a dog…wear whatever you like. I will go wingtip. No more white socks. A necktie stitched to my throat, turtlenecks in August…." Inclined to Speak offers consistent quality while including various styles, a problem for any anthology. By presenting the work of 39 authors, it offers a broad enough spectrum in pace and approach to make the collection very readable. Reviewer: Jim Beschta
Library Journal

In this important anthology, editor Charara, the author of two books of poetry (e.g., The Alchemist's Diary), draws a diverse map of Arab American poets. This carnival of voices ranges from expressions of political and social grievance, as in Charara's own "Usage"-"I was born here/ I didn't have to adopt America/but I adapted to it"-to highly experimental efforts in language and imagery, as in Kazim Ali's "Gallery"-"Music is a scar unraveling itself in strings/an army of hungry notes shiver down the four strings' furrow." Here we have two views of poetry, the former seeing its language as informational and a means to something outside the poem and the latter seeing it as suggestive and a means to itself. Yet the dilemma of "I" and "the other," "here" and "there" is examined in most of the poems. It is worth noting that all the poems in the collection are written in English, which makes the term Arab American a categorical indicator rather than a literary one. Readers of this collection will experience the joy of discovery and awareness; recommended for all public and academic libraries.
—Sadiq Alkoriji

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557288677
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Hayan Charara was a visiting professor of poetry writing at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. Before that he taught in New York City. He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Sadness of Others and The Alchemist's Diary. Born in Detroit, Michigan, to immigrant parents, he currently lives in Texas. He is also a woodworker.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)