The ever-productive English Pen World Atlas Blog" is running a series of new writing from Gaza, translated into English, by the likes of Soumaya Susi, Atef Abu Saif, Khaled Jum'a and Nasser Jamil Shaath.
The initiative for the portfolio came from an interview on the blog with the young prizewinning Palestinian writer Adiana Shibli. As EPWAB explains: "When I interviewed Adania in early December 2008, she spoke passionately about the writers she knew in Gaza, about the intensity of their work and the way that Palestinian poetry was changing in response to the conditions of siege. That was before the invasion.
"When the news and images of Gaza (not from Gaza) began to appear, I emailed Adania and offered to host a selection of writing on the blog: her choice of writers, immediate and new voices with essential things to say and powerful styles in which to say them. Over the next month, we'll be publishing the work that she selected on the blog, as it arrives from Gaza. The first group of writers to arrive is diverse in age, background, experience, and style, but I find all of their voices compelling."
The Palestinians are some of the most written-about people in the world, but it is all too rare for their own voices - including in the form of poetry, fiction and song - to be widely heard. This initiative goes some welcome distance in helping to rectify this imbalance. [picture of Atef Abu Saif 'borrowed' from EPWAB]