In the Presence of Absence

Join us for a book release of “In the Presence of Absence.” There will be a reading, signing, and Q&A with Sinan Antoon, accompanied by Robyn Creswell of The Paris Review and Adam Schatz of The London Review of Books.

By one of the most transcendent poets of his generation. Darwish composed this remarkable work at the apex of his creativity, but with the full knowledge that his death was imminent. Thinking it might be his final oeuvre, he summons all his poetic genius to create a luminous work that defies categorization. In stunning language, Darwish’s self-eulogy inhabits a rare space where opposites bleed and blend into each other. Prose and poetry, life and death, and home and exile are all sung by the poet and his other. On the threshold of im/mortality, the poet looks back at his own existence, intertwined with that of his people. Through these lyrical, and often playful, meditations on love, longing, and Palestine, historical events, and existential musings, the poet bids himself and his readers a poignant farewell.

Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet, novelist, and translator. His co-translation of Darwish’s poetry was nominated for the PEN Translation Prize in 2004. He is the author of The Baghdad Blues, I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, and The Pomegranate Alone. He is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature at New York University.

Adam Shatz is a writer and editor at the London Review of Books. He served as literary editor of The Nation magazine from 2003 to 2007, and has contributed reviews and essays on jazz, literature, and the politics of the Middle East and North Africa to The New York Review of Books and The New York Times.

Robyn Creswell is a critic, translator, and scholar specializing in Arabic literature. His translation of Abdelfattah Kilito’s novel “The Clash of Images” was published by New Directions in 2010. He is currently poetry editor at The Paris Review.

November 16, 2011
7:00-9:00 pm
45-51 Park Place
New York, NY 10007


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