The Republics

Winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing 

Winner of the Arab American Book Award

The Republics is a massively brilliant new work. It’s gripping, harrowing, and at times horrific, while its form paradoxically is fresh, luscious, and original. Handal has recorded like Alice Walker, Paul Celan, John Hershey, and Carolyn Forché, some of the worst civilization has offered humankind and somehow made it art.
– Sapphire 

A startling piece of work. It’s one of the most inventive books I’ve read by one of today’s most diverse writers.
– Patricia Smith 

These ‘flash reportages’ by Handal offer us new ways to think about both poetry and journalistic documentation.
– Warscapes

By amplifying the voice of blackness in Haiti, she places the issue of racism starkly before us. – Coal Hill Review

Handal is a singular creature: An international nomad whose work explores the innermost quadrants of the self and has a genius for letting all voices, however discordant, be heard. This is poetry of the most original and ridges kind."
– Lorraine Adams 

Following Césaire, Handal’s poems are an act of looking at what is difficult. I cherish these dense little constructions – they are full of hard truths, of things seen in extremis, and yet they do not leave us comfortless.
– Teju Cole

Her gorgeous words, like the griots of old, the nomads of the deserts sands, all of whom roam in her blood. 
– Edwidge Danticat

Particularly inventive, as Handal uses a variety of monologues, narrative or prose poetry, and ‘flash fiction’ to explore questions of home and personal relationships. 
– Women’s Review of Books

In 1951 Theodor Adorno wrote that “there is no longer any beauty or any consolation, except in the gaze which goes straight to the horror, withstands it, and in the undiminished consciousness of negativity, holds fast to the possibility of that which is better.” When reading The Republics, one is riveted by linguistic beauty while being simultaneously repelled by the horror. Despite the catalog of inhumanities, readers are sustained by spirit-lines of survival and empathy woven into every poem. Inside a masterful poetics, Nathalie Handal’s ethical consciousness directs our gaze toward suffering and yet “holds fast to the possibility of that which is better.” – World literature Today


Handal has embraced poetry as “our natural prayer”(Leuzzi 174). With the utmost humility, [her] poetry touches the divine in all of us. Handal’s ethic of care makes her one of the fiercest and most remarkable Arab American poets writing today. – Leila Ben-Nasr at the Arab American Book Award Ceremony

Handal's fifth collection of poetry balances what she calls "flash reportages" with vivid lyric and image. Built out of a patchwork of powerful blocks of monologue or narrative, and threaded with Spanish and Haitian Creole, the book's texture parallels those of "a multicolored coat," "a mirror of unfinished voices," and "a scarf tangled in sepia." The poems spring forth with a spontaneity and urgency that counterbalance the restrained flourishes of her previous work. Handal artfully captures the desire, the rawness of life, and the "misery that burns the soul" of the people she encounters. – Publishers Weekly

Nathalie Handal vocalized a journey in an archipelago of sensorial, embodied memory of and for the future already past. Her book, The Republics, is a handcrafted boat, which hops on and off islands of shared humane stories and can be experienced as a magnified view of dew on a leaf. – Adonis Volanakis


Poet in Andalucía

Highly Acclaimed Spanish Bestseller

Dream of the ApplesNathalie Handal’s Andalusian Interior
By Catherine Fletcher

While alternating stylistically between the narrative—tinged by the Romantic tradition—and the slightly surreal, much of Handal’s work is also marked by various forms of fragmentation. Within poems from all her collections, she often deconstructs the bodies of her subjects into their parts and houses into their elements: doors, walls, and windows. In Poet in Andalucía, Handal places her poetic self in a single geographic area—southern Spain and northern Morocco—for the first time. Perhaps the collection’s most intriguing poem is “Alhandal y las Murallas de Córdoba.” A meditation both on the etymology of the poet’s name and the source of identity, it is one of the few pieces in which Handal, a frequent visitor to the past, uses the future tense: She sifts through the Andalusian landscape, sifts through her memory, ponders her own future disappearance, investigates the appearance of her name on a Spanish announcement spelled in a way she had seen previously only in her native Bethlehem. In her journey she finds “things no one can take away”: “the taste of date on our tongue”, “the poems of the Sufis”, Córdoba’s legacy of tolerance, the Spanish language, orange trees, and her own name and its origins—the colocynth, a bitter medicinal plant used by Arab apothecaries. Handal’s work, so beautifully protean, has questioned and examined what can be lost: a country, languages, a missed rendezvous between lovers, the music of the earth.  The transitory nature of life is common to the human experience—the bitter apple we all taste: so much of what we live and who we love just disappears. Poet in Andalucía recasts southern Spain through Handal’s eyes, exploring impermanence but also possessing a sense of ojalá. Some things can and do endure.

This book, and its author, are a treasure. It’s exceptional to find something as cohesive and engrossing as Poet in Andalucía. I highly recommend it and await Handal’s next journey. 
– Mike Walker, Coal Hill Review

Handal’s newest collection is an ambitious work.
– Publishers Weekly

These poems make a beautiful reality for the poet, and for us, which is truer than mortar and brick. It’s with startling force that Handal builds an architecture for the wanderer.
– Washington Independent Review of Books

Poems of depth and weight and the sorrowing song of longing and resolve.
– Alice Walker

Nathalie Handal’s brilliant new volume of poetry, Poet in Andalucía — about Spain, about the Middle East, about shared destinies and hopes — touches me deeply: it reminds us of what’s inconsolable, of what’s multiple, of what’s irreducible, and what’s simultaneous. 
– Rattapallax

Poet in Andalucía will be one of the most talked about poetry books of 2012, and beyond.
– Yolanda Castaño

Poet in Andalucía will fascinate readers with its endless journeys through national, literary, and personal identity. It’s an intriguing work. That duality — the mix of simple and complicated — helps make this collection a notable addition to contemporary poetry.
– Rain Taxi Review of Books

Looking at her poetry, I found a voice emerging in an honest, stripped language, and though it seems focused – narrowed — her poetry contains a quality of surprise that gives it an air of the other-worldly, the mysterious.
– Bernard van der Merwe, Stellenbosch Literary Project

There is something incredibly sincere about Nathalie Handal and her poetry. That seems like a rare thing in literature in the United States today. Perhaps that is because Handal is not exactly from the States: she is a world poet. She grew up in several different countries on different continents and learned their languages.
– Bookslut

Like Rick Blaine, Nathalie Handal is a citizen of the world. Yet, unlike Blaine, Handal is a brilliant, poetic chronicler of the human condition and a philosopher of the most lyrical reaches. Known as a poet on the move, Handal provides the reader a beauty of language and image that unwaveringly commands attention.   
– Pleiades

In Nathalie Handal’s brilliant new volume of poetry, Poet in Andalucía. her eye abolishes time, combing all pasts into the resonant folds of the present. That metaphor of splitting, of one half running up against another, divided by a tenuous border, recurs in her collection. 
– Simultaneity in Verse: On Nathalie Handal by Craig Epplin

If there is such a thing as a Renaissance figure among poets writing, that person is Nathalie Handal.
– Ed Ochester

Al Hayat

Love and Strange Horses

Winner of the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award 2011
Honorable Mention, San Francisco Book Festival
Honorable Mention, New England Book Festival
A Valparaiso Poetry Review Recommended Book


Trembles with belonging (and longing).
– The New York Times

She invents words for something that does not yet exist. – Calyx

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.  
– Afaa Weaver

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.
– Yusef Komunyakaa        

Sometimes we have questions that seem to defy answers or even suppositions but then we find Love and Strange Horses to help us map out a course to continue loving life. A really wonderful, thoughtful read by an intriguing voice.
– Nikki Giovanni

Love and Strange Horses is a densely-textured book… As a young and inventive poet who sees herself as world citizen, Handal's insightful perspectives on the polarities of desire and love's potential for healing are not only heroic, they are valuable. 
– Lake Affect Magazine

A well-crafted example of what the contemporary poetry world has to offer. Handal, a French-American who has lived and worked all over the world, brings us a vivid narrative, using colorful, sometimes heart-wrenching language. Handal's ear for language and ability to see the world a little differently than most people sets her apart from some of her poet peers, making Love and Strange Horses a book certainly worth reading.
– The Greyhound

If you . . . enjoy reading poetry that challenges y our 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.’
– Avatar Review

For a collection that embraces Norse mythology as readily as Christianity or, for that matter, Arabic as readily as English, it is a surprise that Love and Strange Horses transcends multiculturalism. Akin to how a symphony resonates in Naples the same way it does in Nashville, Nathalie Handal’s poetry pushes against the restraints of culture and even (at times) language. —Poetry international

The cadence of Nathalie Handal’s voice resembles her nomadic life… her voice has the mellifluous tinge of a French accent.
– Mail & Guardian

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

High-Octane poetry, an intense and committed personal poetics . . . we should thank her for the space and energy of this book.
– Banipal

With a journalist’s eye, a blind man’s ear and a troubador’s voice, Handal creates tableaus of lovers who seem always to be looking for love, even when they have found it. They yearn for love, approach it, confront it. She writes about the gentle pathos of love with the same fearlessness we find in her poems of exile, isolation and war.
– Reading Eagle

Her irresistible charm comes through on every page as it does in person. It is a privilege to be able to read her verses. On every page is a discovery, and with every discovery, another one waiting. Her distinctive poetic voice takes her around the globe. And indeed she should be celebrated and read.
– This Week in Palestine

Nathalie Handal es una de las nuevas voces poéticas más significativas de la literature contemporánea. 
– Con-Fabulación

Al Hayat

Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond

Speaking a Language for a New Century: Nine Discoveries 

Starred Reviews
Academy of American Poets Bestseller
One of the 10 Greatest International Anthologies,
A Timeless Resource

A landmark anthology, providing the most ambitious, far-reaching collection of contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern poetry available.  Language for a New Century celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. Some poets, such as Mahmoud Darwish and Bei Dao, are acclaimed worldwide, but many more will be new to the reader. The collection includes 400 unique voices from 55 countries writing in 40 different languages—political and apolitical, monastic and erotic—that represent a wider artistic movement that challenges thousand-year-old traditions, broadening our notion of contemporary literature. Each section of the anthology–organized by theme rather than national affiliation–is preceded by a personal essay from the editors that introduces the poetry and invokes the readers to examine their own identities in light of these powerful poems. In an age of violence and terrorism–often predicated by cultural ignorance–this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanness and devotion to the transformative power of art.

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

An indispensable collection.
– Ian McMillan, Host, The Verb, BBC, Radio3

It's a literary anthology no college-level collection should be without.
– Midwest Book Review

This extraordinary, library-in-one-volume: what a resource! Those to whom poetry is essential as the supreme use of language will find the work of many poets they have never before come to, and those readers who have limited themselves to prose have the opportunity to discover how the poet outreaches everything prose can illuminate in who and what we are, no matter where, on the map. Nine thematic groupings of the work bring us wonderfully, almost perilously close to ultimate experience in childhood, love, war, exile, the inextricable relations between politics and the personal, the tragic and the ironic, the wisdom in sorrow and humor, that only the most intense imagination can plumb. That of the poet. The realm of imagination is one. This anthology gives entry to its vast expression in the Middle East and Asia, including the changing sensibilities of poets in the ever-growing world of immigration. 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

Language for a New Century is a symphonic sweep of beckoning cries, praises, prayers, curses, ruminations and revelations.  An ensemble rich with diverse voices, here the old and the new converge, and something wholly human and futuristic emerges—something that possesses a robust lyricism—shining its light, its illuminated certainty into the twenty-first century.  This marvelous anthology assembles a multitude of voices intent on a purposeful, deep singing.
– Pulitzer Prize Winner, Yusef Komunyakaa

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The Lives of Rain

Shortlisted for The Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry
Recipient of the Menada Award


In The Lives of Rain, Nathalie Handal has brought forth a work of radical displacement and uncertainty, moving continent to continent, giving voice to Palestinians of the diaspora in the utterance of one fiercely awake and compassionate, who, against warfare, occupation and brutality offers her native language, olives, wind, a herd of sheep or a burning mountain, radio music, a butterfly’s gaze. It is a poetry of never arriving, of villages erased from the maps, of tattoed waistlines and kalishnikovsa goat and a corpse cut open side by side, where every house is a prison.  In a spare, chiseled language without ornament, she writes an exilic lyric, fusing Arabic, English, Spanish and French into a polyglot testament of horror and survival. Habibti, que tal? she asks of those who wander country to country, while those left behind in Jenin, Gaza City, and Bethlehem inhabit a continued past of blood/ of jailed cities.  Her subject is memory and forgetting, the precariousness of identity and the fragility of human community; it is the experience of suffering without knowledge of its end. 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.
– Carolyn Forché

Handal is an important and eloquent voice whose poetic vision is as rare as it is necessary.
– Daniel Olivas  

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. 
– Alicia Ostriker

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. 
– Martin Espada

Nathalie Handal's poetry is a global poetry of witness and wisdom. The weightiness of her subjects is delightfully at odds with the buoyancy of her cadence. In The Lives of Rain, Handal's crisp multi-lingual diction renders passion, intelligence, and despair, deftly chronicling the human condition in its vivid particulars.                            
– Denise Duhamel

In The Lives of Rain we catch the accent and the stress of displacement, of being in the wrong place, ‘shadows behind shadows’ - Nathalie Handal's exilic tone stays and roots itself.
– Tom Paulin  

Great writing, hard, moving, tough, real. 
– Bob Holman  

The Lives of Rain reminds me of an essay by Edward Said [Reflections on Exile]. The melody is mine, belongs to the reader, as I am also this hatless man: his maps his books, his memories his exile his half-forgotten name on a bench by the river...Une vraie poétique du déplacement, sensuelle, érotique et (pourquoi pas) politique.
– Milton Hatoum    

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The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology

A CLASSIC – a bestseller for over a decade

Winner of the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award
Academy of American Poets Bestseller
Starred Reviews
Recommended in 360° of Reading: A Literature
Top Picks Poetry Anthologies

This anthology was prepared to eradicate invisibility: to provide an introduction to Arab women poets, to make visible the works of a great number of Arab women poets who are virtually unknown to the West, to make visible many Arab-American women poets who are marginalized within the American literary and ethnic scenes, and to demonstrate the wide diversity of Arab women’s poetry, which extends to other languages besides Arabic and English (as in the case of Arab women poets writing in French and Swedish). This anthology seeks to unite Arab women poets from all over the Arab world and abroad, regardless of what language they write in and whether they were born in an Arab country or not. Its aim is to bridge the religious, linguistic and geographical spaces existing among Arab women worldwide. With the exception of Oman and Sudan, every Arab country has been represented in this volume. Included are Arab women in exile or living in non-Arab countries and women poets of Arab descent from Europe and North America. The volume incorporates the most accomplished Arab women poets of the twentieth century, including those of the distinctive new generation. It opens a door to a new and fast changing world where women are an extremely vital force in both literary and social terms. The introduction provides a historical overview for understanding contemporary Arab women’s poetry, including the singularity as well as the shared trends and movements in the work of these eighty-three poets. 

With the publication of The Poetry of Arab Women a world long silenced discloses itself in a symphony of lyric utterance at once passionate and profound. These are voices of struggle and forbearance, anguish and survival, nomadic spirit and exilic being, various and innovative, startling in their gifts. Beautifully researched, translated and compiled, this book is necessary to any appreciation of world literature in our time.
– Carolyn Forché

THE POETRY OF ARAB WOMEN arrives: an astonishing, huge accomplishment! A thousand thanks to the brilliant, and, apparently, tireless, editor, Nathalie Handal, whose massive, opening essay presents so much large, and nuanced, information, so coherently! Here we may meet and marvel at 83 Arab women poets—many translated, of necessity, from Arabic, French, Swedish, and Hebrew! From the visionary, elder Lebanese poet, Etel Adnan, to the Lebanese American young poet, Dima Hilal, who writes with passionate lucidity, and more and more and more, this is an incredible, international gathering of Arab women poets writing from the first quarter of the 20th century through now—right now! From grievous issues of national and/or religious and/or gender identity under relentless assault, to affirmations of family and/or ardent documentation of Arab beauty and desire, this anthology demolishes stereotypes, and allows the whole world to see and hear the powerful complexity, and longing, that these Arab women poets so memorably articulate.
– June Jordan

It’s late in the world when I finish reading this amazing book of Arab women’s poetry.  I cannot put it down and wish to carry it with me everywhere, as a text for remembering how crucial poetry is for the survival of the soul. Each poem carries within it water, blood and the sound of a woman singing. There is sky and earth.  I admire these Arab women poets who are makers of some of this world’s finest poetry. What a gift to find them all here together!
– Joy Harjo

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.  
– Adrienne Rich  

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.  
– Booklist

Eighty-two Arab women poets from all over the world are gathered in this highly charged, stunning anthology. Editor Nathalie Handal has done an amazing job of presenting a massive body of work by a group of women poets who are hardly known on the international poetry stage…In the male dominated, global poetry community this struggle is endless, but poets like Elmaz Abi-Nader, Safaa Fathy, Dunya Mikhail, Amal Moussa, and Fatma Kandil continue to write, sing, and disrupt the status quo. Handal has organized the work of 40 translators who present outstanding English versions of poetry by women from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine and 10 other countries. 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.  
– MultiCultural Review  

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. A haunting and pervasive commitment unites these poets…The poetic gift of every woman in the collection is, as always, unique and individual… A number of the poets, especially Arab Americans, write in English, but those needing translation have been blessed with carefully selected artists. The English versions have a grace and an integrity seldom found in translations.  
– Foreword  

This rich anthology goes a long way toward introducing contemporary Arab women poets, Arab-American women poets writing in English, and a few other women poets of Arab origin writing in French and Swedish. Its main virtue is that in one handsome volume it presents 209 poems of various lengths and styles by 83 women, some born in the Arab world and some elsewhere, but all rooted in Arab culture and experiencing the modern world as they carve their own identity. The editor, Nathalie Handal, a well-known Arab-American poet…is to be congratulated for compiling this useful volume…Only someone who knows the complex work of editing, making wise selections, seeking qualified translators…can fully appreciate Handal’s efforts. In addition, she wrote a 62-page introduction providing a good historical overview of contemporary Arab women’s poetry…on reading these poets from A to Z, one is impressed by the symphony of their voices, singular yet united…These voices are distinctive, articulate, authentic, and they dare to say what men poets sometimes dissimulate. Understandably not comprehensive, this anthology is however quite representative of the powerful poetry of Arab women and is a visible confirmation of its effective existence.  
– Al Jadid Magazine

A landmark: the first survey of poetry entirely by Arab women with roots in nearly every Arab country…Strong introductory collection…While the 60-page introduction helps the reader with the inevitable difficulties of context that such a broad survey presents, there is sublime, occasionally fierce beauty in the poems themselves, which arrive with vitality, freshness and surprising power. The book argues well for the broader recognition of Arab poetry, by women or men, as a world literary force.  
– Aramco  

In this beautifully produced, elegant and thoroughly researched volume, Nathalie Handal has created a fresh image of the women of the Arab world…a great achievement, and long awaited….She is to be congratulated, further, for the detailed and informative preface, introduction and biographical notes on each poet, translator and reader. This anthology is a wonderful confirmation of the increasing interest in Arab literature by the West over the last few years… Altogether a great anthology that will become a well-worn bedside book as well as a valuable source of reference. 
– Banipal  

The poetic voices of Arab women…are beautifully captured in this timely volume edited by the Arab-American scholar and poet Nathalie Handal…the anthology succeeds eminently in giving the reader the opportunity to appreciate the new and powerful verse of contemporary Arab women…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…Handal is to be congratulated for having compiled this rich anthology and for making Arab women’s poetry known and easily accessible. She is also to be thanked for her great efforts in making wise selections; for finding good translators, second translators, and helpful poets and critics as consultant readers…the poems…constitute a symphony of voices articulating Arab’s women’s hopes, feelings, and experiences so powerfully that a new, hitherto unknown image of Arab women impresses itself on the Western reader’s mind…this poetry is authentic in its expression of Arab women’s yearning for a place in the sun…This anthology makes visible their admirable struggle and their compelling verbal art.  
– World Literature Today  

– The News Circle (LA) 

Superb…Congratulations on a brilliant piece of work.  
– Peter Clark (British Council)  

– Orange County Library  

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. 
– Bookwatch

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  

Handal has gathered work from “most of the older and newer contemporary voices” of the Arab diaspora, over 80 poets writing in Arabic, French, English and other languages, and living in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen, Gaza and the U.S. Handal’s introduction, along with biographical notes on the poets and many translators, helps to place them.
– Publishers Weekly  

An extremely thorough collection…Handal’s introduction does an excellent job of setting the poems in context…The poets whose work appears here are largely excellent…I want to show this to everyone who regards Arabs as ‘those other people who aren’t like us.’…These are impressive poems, brave poems, diverse poems. And this is an impressive, brave and diverse book. Although I found it painful sometimes, I recommend it highly. No: maybe because I found it painful sometimes. This is a book that people need to read.  
– Pif Magazine

I feast on the Poetry of Arab Women.
– Oprah Magazine

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The Neverfield

The Neverfield is work which insists on itself.  It is a poetry of a shining quality from a poet whose voice is sure and unafraid.
– Lucille Clifton

The Neverfield is an epic journey, a passionate search for beauty and truth. If beauty is truth, and truth is beauty, the poems in this volume lead us once again to that realization. The Neverfield is an enchanting work, sharing with us a poet's true vision. 
– Rudolfo Anaya  

Nathalie Handal's poems in her collection The Neverfield are wide as breath, lyrically linked as an elegantly stitched Palestinian bodice, the first time we hear them.
– Naomi Shihab Nye

As I turned the pages of this work, I was reminded of how vast the universe is. The Neverfield is everlasting by nature.  After reading it, I breathed deeply and praised the word. This is a holistic piece of work. 
– Benjamin Zephaniah

This is an ambitious debut. Nathalie Handal embarks on her poetic career with a lyric epic utilizing intriguing surreal imagery and a passionate tone to explore the existential bewilderment of her exile.
– Khaled Mattawa

The Neverfield is reminiscent of some of the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Luis Bunuel, and Jean-Luc Godard in its use of evocative imagery and its dreamlike, nonlinear narrative flow. It is, however, not so much about sociopolitical critique as it a bout testimony and affirmation. Indeed, the work echoes themes also reflected in the poems of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Josey Foo, and Eileen Tabios in evoking ideas of poetry/language as home and claiming one's voice as an affirmation of self. And like some of Lee Young-Li's longer poems, it is personal and intimate in its introspection and more subtle eroticism, yet global in scope and grounded in history. – Lori Tsang, Multicultural Review

Lucid, vibrant, and charged, Nathalie Handal’s poetry is suffused with a sense of place and culture. Her writing in international in scope, its soul is deeply alive. 
– Diana Abu-Jaber


> Multicultural Review
> The Washington Report
> World Literature Today
> Afterward

Canto Mediterraneo

Canto Mediterraneo
Traduzione di Verusca Costenaro
Introduzione di Andrea Sirotti

Canto Mediterraneo, tradotto dall'inglese da Verusca Costenaro e pubblicato per la prima volta in Italia, è «un viaggio poetico attraverso il mare della Storia», come nota Andrea Sirotti nella sua introduzione, «un viaggio soggettivo in cui l'individuo si mette in cerca dei propri elementi costitutivi riconoscendosi plurale, fluido e dialettico». Stratificazioni culturali in un tessuto metamorfico, dove l'anima apolide della poetessa rinviene le tracce di esperienze e destini comuni, tra il passato e il presente:

Forse non conosciamo nulla
di ciò che abbiamo intorno,
e lo sherry che beviamo
– fino, amontillado, oloroso –
ci riempie di ciò che non possiamo desiderare
troppo a lungo.

(Verso Jerez de la Frontera)


Le vite della pioggia

Translated by Marta Cariello

La poesia di Nathalie Handal sta sulla soglia, nella possibilità delle di- rezioni illimitate, attraverso strade impolverate, incontro a combattenti e contadini, viandanti ed esuli nel mondo, tutti legati al filo che tesse insieme Betlemme, Jenin, Gerusalemme, ma anche Miami, Torreón, Pa- rigi, New York e oltre. Nella diaspora, la lingua offre rifugio, ma anche conferma della dislocazione: «il nostro vocabolario ci definisce» e l’e- straneità dei nomi conferma l’incertezza della casa. Le lingue, quindi, si moltiplicano nella disseminazione di tante terre d’appartenenza quante le lingue parlate nei luoghi d’arrivo. Tanti angoli di strada e stanze di passaggio, dove c’è malinconia e dolore, ma anche vita di amanti e con- vivio di parenti, dove c’è memoria e narrazione; un’identità disseminata e senza confini, come la pioggia.






Riflessi di Nathalie Handal con illustrazioni di Lucio Schiavon
Traduzione di Andrea Sirotti

Il volume raccoglie le poesie che Nathalie Handal, scrittrice e poetessa franco-americana proveniente da una famiglia palestinese di Betlemme, ha realizzato durante il suo soggiorno a Venezia. Le sue poesie si ispirano ai luoghi e agli incontri veneziani, ma sono anche ricche di spunti e suggestioni personali. Le illustrazioni di Lucio Schiavon, illustratore e graphic designer veneziano, tutte nei toni del colore blu, accompagnano la lettura.

250 esemplari numerati e cuciti a mano

Waterlines Residenze letterarie e artistiche a Venezia nasce dalla volontà di far incontrare la scrittura con altre discipline artistiche e di ribadire il ruolo di Venezia come luogo di produzione culturale.

Waterlines è un progetto del Collegio Internazionale dell’Università Ca’ Foscari, della Fondazione di Venezia e di San Servolo – Servizi Metropolitani di Venezia.





La estrella invisible / The Invisible Star

The Invisible Star / La estrella invisible 
A BILINGUAL EDITION (English / Spanish)

One of the most important voices of the Arab Diaspora. 

The Invisible Star is the first contemporary collection of poetry that explores the city of Bethlehem and the lives of its exiles in such broad geographic spaces, especially Latin America. Professor at Columbia University, Handal has assembled the wisdom and elegance of the Arab tradition with the rhythm and precision of the Anglo-Saxon, never putting aside the history of her people. 

Nathalie Handal has the responsibility of being one of the voices of a people who has suffered cruelty and injustice. Her poems bleed a wound that surpasses borders and language. That’s why this collection is indispensable and full of depth and awareness, a vision that goes beyond what is visible.
– Fernando Valverde


A masterpiece. Absolutely moving.
– Raúl Zurita

Her poems find a dimension in time and space and image that we have not yet recorded in our hearts and minds. She presents this new dimension to us in unknown and unexpected ways. 
– Naomi Wallace

Every poem in The Invisible Star is a celebration and a wound that transcends borders, and perhaps time. It’s a voyage that is literal and metaphorical, symbolic and ethereal. This collection is her most intimate. It transforms Palestinian-ness into undividable light. 
This Week in Palestine

Star of Bethlehem illuminates Hemingway’s Havana: The Invisible Star. Nathalie Handal seems to have momentarily become almost ubiquitous in the field of Palestinian culture. This collection of poems, though, reminds us of the literary talent that underpins her public profile. This volume does something aesthetically and politically different. Instead of Arabic, Handal’s poems are in Spanish and English. Throughout the collection — and in the title itself, with its nod to the star of Bethlehem — the references to Palestine are constant. But they sit alongside other traditions, and indeed are in many cases framed within sections named after Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico or Nicaragua. "The Star" of Palestinian Bethlehem — whether exuberantly footloose or in a state of embittered longing — meets Hemingway’s Havana haunts, the revolutionary icons of the Americas and the Brazilian liquor cachaça. With their Latin American cultural references, her poems speak of a huge body of Palestinians that are rarely mentioned. As such, this collection highlights a facet of the global Palestinian diaspora which is scarcely touched upon. Handal opens a window on a large community of Palestinians with origins in its own touchstones and longings, and which, as well as being shaped by its Palestinianness, has evolved amidst the political and social tumults of other countries.
The Electronic Intifada

“Mi cuerpo está en el Occidente, pero mi alma nunca dejó el Oriente”. Nathalie Handal

Presentación – Palacio de Los Patos

La poeta palestina Nathalie Handal es una de las voces más importantes de la diáspora árabe.

La estrella invisible es la primera colección de poesía que explora la ciudad de Belén y la vida de sus exiliados a lo largo de muchos y dispersos espacios geográficos— especialmente América Latina. Profesor en a Universidad de Columbia, Handal ha logrado ensamblar la sabiduría y la dulzura de la tradición árabe con el ritmo y la precisión de la anglosajona, sin dejar nunca a un lado la historia de su pueblo, que es la suya propia.
Nathalie Handal tiene la responsabilidad de ser la voz de un pueblo que sufre la impiedad y la injusticia. Por sus poemas sangra una herida que sobrepasa las fronteras y las lenguas. Por eso su obra es ya imprescindible y está llena de hondura y de conciencia, de una mirada que busca más allá de lo visible. 
– Fernando Valverde

Es una obra maestra. Absolutamente conmovedor.
– Raúl Zurita

Sus poemas encuentran una dimensión en el tiempo y en el espacio y en una apariencia que todavía no tenemos grabados en nuestro corazones ni en nuestras mentes. Nos presenta esta nueva dimensión en formas desconocidas e inesperadas. 
– Naomi Wallace

Nathalie Handal: Poeta sin fronteras. Su trabajo refleja estas culturas, las que según ella forman un puente unidos por poemas que nos ayudan a comprender y unirnos como seres humanos. “La Estrella Invisible” es un libro para ser leído muchas veces, ya que lleva al lector a reflexionar sobre la vida de aquellos generaciones que dejaron sus países de origen por exilios o migraciones, y en las generaciones que los han seguido, viviendo dentro de ellos una nostalgia permanente, pero también donde la añoranza y la esperanza se unen en un abrazo que logra cubrir continentes. Con en el poema “Confesiones a Medio Camino”, aprendemos que el caminante se pregunta: “Mi corazón tiene telescopios / mis ojos tienen calles invisibles / mi retrato es el de una nación / con cien metros cuadrados de nubes / tal vez Dios sea un país / que mis ojos no pueden ver”.
– Bessy Reyna, LatinArte News



Poeta en Andalucía

Poeta en Andalucía evoca el viaje de Federico García Lorca a Nueva York en un recorrido por la Andalucía luminosa de Alberti y Picasso, pero también por las sombras de Víznar o el estrecho de Gibraltar. 

Literal, Lain American Voices

Tras los pasos de Federico García Lorca

Nathalie Handal es, sin duda, una de las voces más importantes de la poesía contemporánea de la diáspora árabe.
– LaMula, Peru

Una figura renacentista…Esta voz cosmopolita pertenece a la familia humana, y se deleita al cruzar las fronteras necesarias. 
– Yusef Komunyakaa, Premio Pulitzer

La poesía de Nathalie Handal está llena de voces con diferentes acentos, de almas con distintas lenguas. Su condición de exiliada Palestina, de poeta errante, le ha hecho asimilar lo mejor de las grandes tradiciones literarias de Oriente y Occidente. En este libro, la autora evoca el viaje de Federico García Lorca a Nueva York en un recorrido por la Andalucía luminosa de Alberti y de Picasso, pero también por las sombras de Víznar o el estrecho de Gibraltar.  
– Fernando Valverde

La obra de Handaltiembla con un sentido de pertenencia y añoranza. 
– New York Times

Este libro, y su autora, son un tesoro… es excepcional hallar una obra tan íntegra y apasionante como Poeta en Andalucía. La recomiendo altamente, y quedo a la espera del próximo periplo de Handal.
– Coal Hill Review

Poemas profundos e importantes… un triste canto de añoranza y determinación. 
– Alice Walker, Premio Pulitzer

La nueva colección de poemas de Handal es una obra ambiciosa.
– Publishers Weekly

Si la escritura nos acerca al Otro, una voz tan sensible y a la vez lúcida como la de Nathalie Handal se hace necesaria, tanto en cuanto una perspectiva privilegiada como la suya permite interpretar los ecos que nos llegan del pasado y del mañana, del oriente y occidente, de la pérdida y la pertenencia, del yo y del vosotros, de lo que muda y permanece. Pero sobre todo de cómo todo ello se une, y nos une.
– Yolanda Castaño

Estos poemas crean una hermosa realidad para la poeta y para nosotros, una realidad concreta. Con una fuerza sorprendente, Handal construye una arquitectura para el aventurero.
– Washington Independent Review of Books

Nathalie Handal es ciudadana del mundo. Sin embargo, diferenciándose de Blaine, Handal es una cronista brillante y poética de la condición humana y una filósofa de alcance profundamente lírico.
– Pleiade

El brillante nuevo poemario de Nathalie Handal, Poeta en Andalucía—sobre España, sobre el Oriente Medio, sobre destinos y esperanzas compartidas—me conmueve profundamente: nos recuerda lo inconsolable, lo múltiple, lo irreductible, y lo simultáneo. 
– Rattapallax Magazine

La cadencia de la voz de Nathalie Handal se asemeja a su vida nómada. 
– Mail & Guardian


Las Horas Suspendidas

Nathalie Handal es una de las nuevas voces poéticas más significativas de la literatura contemporánea.
– Con-Fabulación

Su trabajo es de brillante elegancia. 
– Afaa Michael Weaver

Una voz fascinante. 
– Nikki Giovanni

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.
– Gonzalo Márquez Cristo