‘Lanterns of Hope’: A Call for Submissions by Young Iraqi Poets


The “Lanterns of Hope” poetry project is looking for poems by young Iraqis, aged 16-23, in Arabic, Kurdish, or English:

iwpAccording to organizers, the poems should “reflect in some way on life in modern-day Iraq, potentially dealing with themes like reconciliation and forgiveness.” It’s unclear how much the “reconciliation and forgiveness” aspect will be forced, but “a selection of poetry will be made by a group of prominent Iraqi writers on the basis of quality, concrete expressiveness, originality, and diversity.”

The selected poets will have their poems translated and published in Arabic, Kurdish, and English. The results will be published as an e-book and in print, although a publisher isn’t specified.

The deadline for submissions is May 1, and decisions will be made, at the latest, by the end of June.

This project is sponsored by the “Baghdad City of Literature Steering Committee,” in conjunction with the Iraqi House of Poetry, the…

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‘African Titanics’: A Book to Humanize the Reader


There are at least a half-dozen ways you could read the English version of African Titanics, depending on how — and with what — you approach it:

downloadThe short novel, written by Eritrean novelist Abu Bakr Khaal (2008), and ably translated by Charis Bredon (2014), could be read as a “there but for the grace of God go I!” narrative. From this vantage, the book is about poor migrants who make their way up through desert and sea to start new, better lives in Europe. Or, for the reader interested in world events, it could be read as a “humanizing” tale that fleshes out news about nameless migrants who die at sea aboard overcrowded, under-maintained boats.

It could be a call-to-action that drives the activist reader to tear down militarized borders across the Mediterranean and beyond. Or it could be approached as a story about stories: a layering of folktale, myth, history, and anecdote from East and North Africa.

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My Brother’s Last Words to Me Were Beautiful and Haunting

Kindness Blog

boy running fast silhouetteMy only brother, older by 2 years, was terminally ill with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (a condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and starts in childhood).

I got a call from my mother at 5am and she only needed to say three words to me.

“It’s your brother”…

I threw some clothes on and sped to their house (and) he was clearly on his way out. I gathered myself, laid with him and did my best to comfort him.

As he began to slip away, my brother and best friend, who had been wheelchair bound since he was 8 years old, and was then 25, said to me the most beautiful and haunting words I will ever hear…

…“I’m running so fast”

~ by OMGHP

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