Love and Strange Horses…Trembles with belonging (and longing).
–The New York Times
If there is such a thing as a Renaissance figure among younger poets writing in America, that person is Nathalie Handal.
One of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2011»
–ArabianBusiness.com Special Reports
In Nathalie Handal’s book Love and Strange Horses, this important young poet addresses the need we have as humans to relate to each other, to work for the genuine intimacy she believes is vital to life. Her work is a brilliant elegance. To find a similarly fresh and innovative look at the old subject of love in a book by a young poet, I would have to turn to Neruda.
Nathalie Handal’s Love and Strange Horses is riddled with provocative incantations that verge on a conjuring solidly based in this world and beyond. There’s a subtle singing locked inside each poem that raises the stakes. This cosmopolitan voice belongs to the human family, and it luxuriates in crossing necessary borders. The pages are lit with scintillations that transport the reader to pithy zones of thought and pleasure.
The cadence of Nathalie Handal’s voice resembles her nomadic life… her voice has the mellifluous tinge of a French accent.
–Mail & Guardian
Nathalie Handal is [cultural] ambassador for the Middle East.
Handal’s lyric poetry is riddled with the music of questioning. What is strength? What is love? Her poems do what poetry does best. They call us to question and own our humanity, clear-eyed, staunchly, regardless of culture, religion or gender–like a candle burning, softly vivid, a pure flame on the table of our global human tribe.
–Levantine Culture Center
If you enjoy reading as much as I do, and enjoy reading poetry that challenges your thinking, that makes your synapses fire and the brain’s pleasure center sort of stand up and go Oooh, then I highly recommend Love and Strange Horses.
High-Octane poetry, an intense and committed personal poetics . . . we should thank her for the space and energy of this book.
Sometimes we have questions that seem to defy answers or even suppositions but then wefind Love and Strange Horses to help us map out a course to continue loving life. Areally wonderful, thoughtful read by an intriguing voice.
Nathalie Handal es una de las nuevas voces poéticas más significativas del orbe.
Handal is an important and eloquent voice whose poetic vision is as rare as it is necessary.
– Daniel Olivas
Handal has a confidence and Keatsian virtuosity with language. Her book of poetry, The Neverfield, is a lovely series of meditations on the wiles and yearnings of love as well as on existence itself. There is a terra incognita feel about it, an austere sensuality reminiscent of the poets of the Greek anthology.
–A Community of Many Worlds, The Museum of the City of New York
This extraordinary, library-in-one-volume: what a resource! Assembled here not the Tower of Babel, but the astonishment and subtlety inherent in many languages and their experimental modes to expand the power of words. The introductions to each section offer perceptions engagingly, against which to place one's own readings. The editors have boldly envisaged and compiled a beautiful achievement for world literature.
–Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer
This rich collection of poetry from Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, fills a huge gap in our cultural heritage. It is a formidable achievement, and an important contribution to our education.
–Howard Zinn, People’s History of the United States
El nombre de Nathalie Handal, cuya sugestiva sonoridad y erotismo coinciden a la perfección con su dueña –milagro casi siempre improbable–, ha venido haciendo carrera entre nosotros, desde que algunos de sus más hermosos versos empezaron a aparecer en revistas y periódicos de Hispanoamérica, pero sobre todo desde que los enfermos de la belleza vimos aparecer su conmovedoras fotos, aquí y allá, capaces de hacernos soñar con inauditos puertos, como nos ocurre a todos los adolescentes perpetuos. Coincidencia feliz entre unos ojos y unas palabras, entre la metáfora de una belleza física y el aluvión de una belleza interior.
–Gonzalo Márquez Cristo
It's a literary anthology no college-level collection should be without.
–Midwest Book Review
...an indispensable collection
–Ian McMillan, Host, The Verb, BBC, Radio3
In The Lives of Rain, Nathalie Handal has brought forth a work of radical displacement and uncertainty, moving continent to continent… Handal is a poet of deftly considered paradoxes and reversals, sensory evocations and mysteries left beautifully unresolved. Hers is a language seared by history and marked by the impress of extremity; so it is suffused with a rare species of wisdom.
The Lives of Rain is a book of exile and wandering, geographically and emotionally. In it are wars, loves, scars, ancestors. In it are olive trees, lemon trees, weddings, music, fear. In it are English, French, Arabic, Spanish, "the breath of cities," the blue hour of a woman's body. Nathalie Handal is a poet for our time of crisis and need, for our awakening sense of the battles of eros and thanatos in our world.
Some poets have a fire in the belly, an urgent need to tell the truth for the sake of those who do not know, and those who do. Nathalie Handal is one such poet. Yet her poems transcend the fire of their birth: there is also a cool intelligence here, the words of a witness who will tell the story and get it right. These brave, sensual and striking poems humanize the Palestinian people at a time in history when they are too often dehumanized. Gracias, Nathalie.
The scope and ambition of this collection are both remarkable and necessary. Under the rubric “Arab women poets” it reveals a multiplicity of imaginations, presences, roots, migrations, artistic strategies. Contemporary Arab women are writing poetry in French, Swedish, English, Spanish as well ad Arabic; thus the task of translation has been complex. These are poems both of revolution and evolution, emerging from the ancient, rich but exclusionary tradition of poetry in Arabic. Thus they enlarge the domain of poetry itself.
Ancient Arab women are sometimes anthologized, but contemporary poets don’t get the attention that they deserve and that this ambitious volume begins to give them…out of a cacophony of voices, styles, and visions, deeper understanding of what it means to be an Arab and a poet…this anthology answers a long-felt need, and its arrival should be celebrated.
Eighty-two Arab women poets from all over the world are gathered in this highly charged, stunning anthology. This book is a rich magnet from cultures whose women are some of the leading artists of a vibrant world.
–The Bloomsbury Review
Stands out as an ambitious attempt to ensure a greater visibility not only for Arab women poets but also for other women poets who are of Arab origin. International in its scope, the anthology presents the works of 83 poets…Handal has sought and succeeded in demonstrating some of the shared experiences and concerns (private, national and universal) that mark their poetry…Handal deserves high praise for producing an anthology that mirrors faithfully Arab women’s creative role throughout the last century. Highly recommended.
Handal assembles a catalog of the anomie of displacement that links the eighty-three poets selected for this collection. Her lengthy introduction, both factually impressive and emotionally heartwarming, awakens an excited interest for the poetry that follows.
In her sixty-two page introduction, Handal gives a succinct account of the development of Arab poetry in general, then places the poetry of Arab women within it as one of rising importance… This anthology makes visible their admirable struggle and their compelling verbal art.
–World Literature Today
Stands out as a monument to Arab women as poets and wordsmiths evoking images and rhythms of language born of their experience, art and imagination. Of special note is the lengthy introduction, followed by representative selections from more than 80 Arab women of diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
Under the able editorship of Nathalie Handal, The Poetry Of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology stands as a monument to the manifold literary of Arab women as poets and wordsmiths evoking images and rhythms of language born of their experience, art, and imagination. Of special note is the lengthy introduction, followed by representative selections from more than 80 Arab women of diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
–Midwest Book Review
I feast on the Poetry of Arab Women.
–Naomi Shihab Nye, Oprah Magazine