The Arab World’s ‘Olympic Poets’: Who’d You Choose?
Art competitions no longer make up a part of the Olympics (and oh, thank goodness, really), but The Guardian, in a run-up to Poetry Parnassus, made an interactive map of verse from each Olympic nation.
Good that they chose Olympic nations: Rafeef Ziadah wouldn’t have been my choice, but it would be a shame to have no Palestinian poet.
Many of the poets are wonderful (Egypt is Iman Mersal, Libya is Khaled Mattawa, Jordan is Amjad Nasser); some are less impressive and perhaps hurriedly found. But an interesting exercise. These are not necessarily The Great Poet from any country, but they’re poets.
Most in the Gulf region seem to have been taken from the recent collection Gathering the Tide.