Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
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On March 5th, 2007, a car bomb was exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. More than thirty people were killed and more than one hundred were wounded. This locale is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, a winding street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls. Named after the famed 10th century classical Arab poet al-Mutanabbi, it has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community. This anthology begins with a historical introduction to al-Mutanabbi Street and includes the writing of Iraqis as well as a wide swath of international poets and writers who were outraged by this attack.

This book seeks to show where al-Mutanabbi Street starts in all of us: personally, in our communities, and in our nations. It seeks to show the commonality between this small street in Baghdad and our own cultural centers, and why this attack was an attack on us all. This anthology sees al-Mutanabbi Street as a place for the free exchange of ideas; a place that has long offered its sanctuary to the complete spectrum of Iraqi voices. This is where the roots of democracy (in the best sense of that word) took hold many hundreds of years ago. This anthology looks toward al-Mutanabbi Street as an affirmation of all that we hope for in a more just society.

Contributors include: Beau Beausoleil, Musa al-Musawi, Anthony Shadid, Mousa al-Naseri, Naomi Shihab Nye, Deena Metzger, Sam Hamod, Lutfiya Al-Dulaimi, Zaid Shlah, Persis Karim, Ayub Nuri, Marian Haddad, Sarah Browning, Eileen Grace O’Malley Callahan, Roger Sederat, Elline Lipkin, Esther Kamkar, Robert Perry, Gloria Collins, Brian Turner, Gloria Frym, Owen Hill, Abd al-Rahim, Salih al-Rahim, Yassin “The Narcicyst” Alsalman, Jose Luis Gutierrez, Sargon Boulus, Peter Money, Sinan Antoon, Muhammad al-Hamrani, Livia Soto, Janet Sternburg, Sam Hamill, Salah Al-Hamdani, Gail Sher, Dunya Mikhail, Irada Al Jabbouri, Dilara Cirit, Niamh MacFionnlaoich, Erica Goss, Daisy Zamora, George Evans, Steve Dickison, Maysoon Pachachi, Summer Brenner, Jen Hofer, Rijin Sahakian, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, Jane Hirshfield, Jack Marshall, Susan Moon, Diana di Prima, Evelyn So, Nahrain Al-Mousawi, Ko Un, Joe Lamb, Katrina Rodabaugh, Mohammed Hayawi, Nazik Al-Malaika, Raya Asee, Gazar Hantoosh, Mark Abley, Majid Naficy, Lewis Buzbee, Ibn al-Utri, Thomas Christensen, Amy Gerstler, Genny Lim, Saadi Youssef, Judith Lyn Suttton, Josh Kun, Dana Teen Lomax, Etel Adnan, Bushra Al-Bustani, Marilyn Hacker, Richard Harrison, Fady Joudah, Philip Metres, Hayan Charara, Annie Finch, Kazim Ali, Deema K. Shehabi, Kenneth Wong, Elmaz Abinader, Habib Tengour, Khaled Mattawa, Rachida Madani, Amina Said, Alise Alousi, Sita Carboni, Fran Bourassa, Jabez W. Churchill, Daniela Elza, Linda Norton, Fred Norman, Bonnie Nish, Janet Rodney, Adrienne Rich, Cornelius Eady, Julie Bruck, Kwame Dawes, Ralph Angel, B.H. Fairchild, Terese Svoboda, Mahmoud Darwish, Amir el-Chidiac, Aram Saroyan, Sholeh Wolpe, Nathalie Handal, Azar Nafisi, Dima Hilal, Tony Kranz, Jordan Elgrably, devorah major, Suzy Malcolm, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Rick London, Sarah Menefee, Roberto Harrison, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Amaranth Borsuk, Lamees Al-Ethari, Shayma’ al-Saqr, Meena Alexander, and Jim Natal.



Publié par
Date de parution 20 août 2012
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781604867640
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Project website:
Jaffe Center for Book Arts:
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
Edited by Beau Beausoleil & Deema K. Shehabi
© 2012 PM Press
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be transmitted by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-60486-590-5
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011939672
Cover designed by Tania Baban, based on a broadside printed by Suzanne Vilmain for the Al-Mutanabbi Street Broadside Project
Interior design by briandesign
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
Printed in the USA on recycled paper, by the Employee Owners of ThomsonShore in Dexter, Michigan.
Introduction BeauBeausoleil
Preface Muhsin al-Musawi
The Bookseller’s Story, Ending Much Too Soon Anthony Shadid
A Man in Love with Knowledge Mousa al-Naseri
For al-Mutanabbi Street Naomi Shihab Nye
The Last Word Deena Metzger
The Grief of Birds Sam Hamod
Al-Mutanabbi Street Lutfiya al-Dulaimi
Occident to Orient Zaid Shlah
Ways to Count the Dead Persis M. Karim
Al-Mutanabbi Street Ayub Nuri
Qasida, My Father Spoke at Funerals, Ways to Raise the Dead Marian Haddad
Girls in Red on Page One Sarah Browning
Al-Mutanabbi Street Eileen Grace OMalley Callahan
Abridged Qasida for al-Mutanabbi Street Roger Sedarat
Al-Mutanabbi Street Elline Lipkin
Fragment, in Praise of the Book MeenaAlexander
An Ordinary Bookseller Esther Kamkar
What Prayer Robert Perry
Marianne Moore in Baghdad Gloria Collins
The al-Mutanabbi Street Bombing Brian Turner
In Perpetuity GloriaFrym
Against the Weather (for al-Mutanabbi Street) Owen Hill
Dead Trees Yassin "The Narcicyst" Alsalman
Elegy for al-Mutanabbi Street Jose Luis Gutierrez
The Letter Has Arrived Sargon Boulus
Al-Mutanabbi Street Peter Money
Voices Surround & Fade: The Hooded One Peter Money
A Letter to al-Mutanabbi Sinan Antoon
Escape from al-Mutanabbi Street Muhammad al-Hamrani
into the lizard’s eyes Lilvia Soto
After Rumi Janet Sternburg
To Salah al-Hamdani, November, 2008 Sam Hamill
Thirty Days after Thirty Years Salah al-Hamdani
Excerptfrom Blue Gail Sher
A half-burned page on al-Mutanabbi Street Dunya Mikhail
My Days Lack Happiness and I Want You Irada al-Jabbouri
Remnants Dilara Cirit
Ashes Niamh macFhionnlaoich
The Color She Wears Erica Goss
No Man’s Land Daisy Zamora
On al-Mutanabbi Street George Evans
The Friend Steve Dickison
The River Turned Black with Ink Maysoon Pachachi
Matter and Spirit on al-Mutanabbi Street Summer Brenner
Untitled Jen Hofer
Untitled Rijin Sahakian
Rain Song Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
The Poet Jane Hirshfield
"Close to God" Jack Marshall
A Book in the Hand Susan Moon
Revolutionary Letter #77 Awkward Song on the Eve of War Diane di Prima
Al-Mutanabbi Street Evelyn So
Ethics of Care: The Retreat of al-Mutanabbi Nahrain al-Mousawi
A Secret Question Ko Un
The Road to al-Mutanabbi Street Joe Lamb
Untitled Katrina Rodabaugh 120
For I Am a Stranger Badr Shakir al-Sayyab
Untitled Mohammed Hayawi
Excerpt from Five Hymns to Pain Nazik al-Malaika
Al-Mutanabbi Street RayaAsee
Attention Saadi Youssef
Destinies Gazar Hantoosh
A Book of Remedies MarkAbley
On the Booksellers’ Street of Baghdad Majid Naficy
Crossroads Lewis Buzbee
Untitled Ibn al-Utri
Remembering al-Mutanabbi Thomas Christensen
On Ashurbanipal’s Library Amy Gerstler
In the Valley of Love Genny Lim
Night in Hamdan Saadi Youssef
Burning Judith Lyn Sutton
Luis and Celso on al-Mutanabbi Street JoshKun
Lullaby Dana Teen Lomax
I Recall al-Sayyab Mahmoud Darwish
Country of Large Rivers EtelAdnan
The Murderer Bushra al-Bustani
GHAZAL: Dar al-Harb Marilyn Hacker
A Home on al-Mutanabbi Street Richard Harrison
Proof of Kindness Fady Joudah
Hearing of Alia Muhammed Baker’s Stroke Philip Metres
Prayer for the Living Hayan Charara
Interpenetrate Annie Finch
The Contract KazimAli
Curves in the Dark Deema K. Shehabi
The Booksellers of Pansodan Kenneth Wong
The Proper Purgation ElmazAbinader
In the Country of the Dead HabibTengour
Adolescence of Burnt Hands Khaled Mattawa
From Tales of a Severed Head Rachida Madani
Untitled Amina Said
What Every Driver Must Know AliseAlousi
Explosion Sita Carboni
Letter to My Childhood Friend, the Baghdad Car Bomber Fran Bourassa
Chrysalis JabezW. Churchill
Al-Mutanabbi Street: Foot Notes after the Fire Daniela Bouneva Elza
Poppies Are Not (Enough) Daniela Bouneva Elza
Psalms and Ashes Linda Norton
Black and Red Fred Norman
Nazik al-Malaika Fred Norman
Al-Mutanabbi Bonnie Nish
random Bonnie Nish
The Twisted Janet Rodney
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve Adrienne Rich
The Blues Sat Down on al-Mutanabbi Street Cornelius Eady
March 9, 2007 Al-Mutanabbi Street, Baghdad Julie Bruck
The Secret Carpentry Kwame Dawes
Blackouts Ralph Angel
Moth B.H. Fairchild
Baghdad Callsby Terese Svoboda
They Didn’t Ask: What’s After Death Mahmoud Darwish
The Airport of Language Amir el-Chidiac
Rocks Aram Saroyan
April Stork Saadi Youssef
Solos on the Oud (#3) Saadi Youssef
See Them Coming Sholeh Wolpe
Love Song Sholeh Wolpe
Until the Glaciers Melt Sholeh Wolpe
Tonight Nathalie Handal
One (for al-Mutanabbi Street) Beau Beausoleil
The Timeless Legacy of al-Mutanabbi Street Azar Nafisi
The Sudden Cessation of Electricity Dima Hilal
Market Forces Runon Tony Kranz
Freedom to Walk Jordan Elgrably
Untitled devorah major
Words Suzy Malcolm
The Last Supper Ibrahim Nasrallah
The Celebration Ibrahim Nasrallah
A Special Invitation Ibrahim Nasrallah
Circle of Prey Rick London
Its First Smell Sarah Menefee
Automatize Roberto Harrison
Verses for Everyday Use Fadhil al-Azzawi
Paper Elegy Amaranth Borsuk
311 and Counting Lamees al-Ethari
A Very Short Letter Shayma al-Saqr
The Street of the Poet Jim Natal
Sometimes the weight of our own silence becomes completely unbearable, until we cannot take one more day of reading about the blood, bone, and ash.
And then the moment comes when we recognize that this distant landscape is our own, and that we must walk through it.
On March 5, 2007, a car bomb was exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. More than thirty people were killed and more than a hundred were wounded. This locale is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, a winding street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls. Named after the famed tenth-century classical Arab poet, al-Mutanabbi, this is an old and established street for bookselling and has been for hundreds of years. It has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.
The connection between the booksellers and readers on al-Mutanabbi Street and the booksellers and readers here is very simple and direct. We all share the belief that books are the holders of memories, dreams, and ideas. I felt, as a poet and bookseller here in San Francisco, an urgent need to keep this singular, tragic event in our consciousness, because it has such deep historical and cultural implications, for us, here in this country, and for the people of Iraq. To this end, I decided to create a coalition of poets, artists, writers, printers, booksellers, and readers.
I had two basic goals. The first goal was to have those involved in the arts respond to this targeted attack. A response that would consider the various underpinnings that made up the fabric of al-Mutanabbi Street: a street that held bookstores, a street that held both Shia and Sunni, a street that indeed welcomed all Iraqis, a street where people felt relatively "safe" as they walked, browsed books, bought stationery, arranged for printing, or sat in the Shabandar Cafe. These same people somehow believed that this place of knowledge and history "protected" them from the encroaching chaos.
Besides seeking to gather more dead, the car bomber and his cohorts were attacking the thoughts and ideas latent in each book, trying to also kill the notion that someone might be free to say something not sanctioned by them. It didn’t matter if that idea was in a children’s book, a book of philosophy, a memoir, poetry, or perhaps even more dangerous, a blank notebook.
My second goal was to try to close the distance between al-Mutanabbi Street and similar "cultural streets" here and around the globe. I want people to understand the commonality that exists between al-Mutanabbi Street and any street that holds a bookstore or a cultural institution. I want people to understand that a carefully chosen attack like this should be seen as an attack on us all.
I have felt that concentrating our attention on this one car bombing, on this one day, on this one narrow winding street, woul

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