Breaking Poems

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Cypher Books, 2008 - Poetry - 62 pages
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Poetry. In BREAKING POEMS Suheir Hammad departs from her previous poetry books with a bold and explosive style to do what the best poets have always done: create a new language. Using "break" as a trigger for every poem, Hammad destructs, constructs, and reconstructs the English language for us to hear the sound of a breath, a woman's body, a land, a culture, falling apart, broken, and put back together again. "Suheir Hammad's BREAKING POEMS introduces English to an Arabic vernacular that startles into being an altogether new language, bridging the archipelago of a Palestine under siege to the diaspora and beyond, breaking through convention, breaking open locks on mind and heart, breaking into a music inspired by the Coltranes, Sun Ra and free jazz, Lee Scratch Perry and Ravi Shankar, a music that is at once a joyous celebration of survival and a poignant cri de Coeur that cannot be ignored and that Mahmoud Darwish should have lived to see. This is a poetry written for people who have endured the winds of hurricanes and invasions. What wisdom, energy, joy and poignancy Hammad brings to the page—for all of this, and for teaching me a new speaking, I give her my thanks"—Carolyn Forché.

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Contents

break
11
break bayou
25
break for love
38
break me
51
Copyright

About the author (2008)

Poet Suheir Hammad was born in Amman, Jordan, to refugee Palestinian parents. She immigrated with her family to Brooklyn, New York, when she was just five years old. Inspired by poet-performers such as Nikki Giovanni, Hammad has traveled the world reciting her poetry in various venues and universities. Her writings have appeared in over a dozen anthologies. Her books include BREAKING POEMS, ZAATARDIVA, and BORN PALESTINIAN, BORN BLACK. She has written for and performed in the Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and appears in the Cannes Film Festival Official Selection Salt of This Sea .

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