Questions and their retinue

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University of Arkansas Press, 1996 - Literary Collections - 64 pages
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Hatif Janabi's poems are passionate, jolting, apocalyptic, and painful. They deal with war and death, perception and truth, drawing from his family life, his exile in Poland, the Gulf War, violence in Iraq, and his experience in the United States. The speaker in many of Janabi's poems moves from a confrontational stance to one of resigned desperation, and from coyness to deep longing, where, occasionally, hope surfaces. The associative processes and the often bizarre surreal imagery he employs are very effective in expressing his profound sense of political and spiritual alienation. Janabi is among a generation of Arab poets who, because of censorship, can speak only obliquely about the harsh reality of their lives. In these poems he has created symbolic landscapes that attempt to reveal the political, social, and psychological stresses with which suffering people live.

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About the author (1996)

Khaled Mattawa is assistant professor of English in the University of Michiganas Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. He was born in Libya and immigrated to the United States in 1979. He is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Amorica, and a number of translations of contemporary Arabic poetry. His work has won two Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and awards from the Academy of American Poets, PEN, and NEA.

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