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A trilingual experimental collection bringing together an impressive array of contemporary Arab poets and literary translators in and across Arabic, English, and French languages.
ANOTHER ROOM TO LIVE IN is an archive of encounter: a multilingual conversation between fifteen poet-translators, connected through friendship, correspondence, and cross-diasporic gatherings. With work in English, Arabic, and French, the collection moves beyond both language and nation-state, investing instead in transcontinental dreamspaces. Here, translation practices collaboratively transform the poems and reflect the poets’ own experiences of “living” in multiple languages. Complicating any flat conception of identity, the poems presented here seek to revisit and challenge foundational narratives, to rework mythologies, and to do all this through a cross-generational process of translation as poetic communion.
Contributors include: Etel Adnan, Hoda Adra, Sinan Antoon, Mirene Arsanios, Omar Berrada, Sara Elkamel, Soukaina Habiballah, Marilyn Hacker, Golan Haji, Kadhim Jihad Hassan, Pierre Joris, Mona Kareem, Souad Labbize, Rachida Madani, Alisha Mascarenhas, Iman Mersal, Aya Nabih, Sarah Riggs, Yasmine Seale, Cole Swensen, Habib Tengour, and Sam Wilder.
Poetry. Essay. Middle Eastern Studies.
”This trilingual experimental collection brings together an impressive array of contemporary Arab poets and literary translators. Here, notions of home, movement, and translation are evoked time and again, only to be called into question and reconfigured. These disparate texts—originals and translations—are united by their humanity and compassion, and by their refusal to turn away from the harsh realities of the day and age. This is a book that cuts to the core of what it means to be human.” — Kareem James Abu-Zeid
”ANOTHER ROOM TO LIVE IN is an addictive and pertinent experiment that reimagines the potentials of translation as simultaneity, collaboration, friendship and deterritorialization, with blind spots and purposefully loose ends. This is not, the editors remind us, an anthology—since anthologies claim so often to represent, define or simplify—but instead a mirrored conversation, a record of conversations, a glimpse into the diasporic visions and ironies of Arab poets and their translators, legends and innovators calmly trilingual across Arabic, English and French. The book exudes the sense of being both an instant classic, a model that will endure for collectives to come, and, equally, elusive, fugitive, ephemeral, so much of our moment in time and space.” — Vivek Narayanan
”Anyone who has experienced voluntary or involuntary exile understands the métier of this essential collection of poetry from the Arab diaspora: displacement's refractive effect on the self, the strange sensorium sifting the present through the past’s filters, the mind’s dreamlike jumbling of presence and absence. The late Argentinian novelist Sergio Chejfec once described the exile’s condition as being distant from the ‘web of simultaneities’ one previously inhabited, language’s web in particular. How simple yet miraculous to suture such web through the act of collaborative, and better yet, reciprocal, translation. This book is a gift.” — Mónica de la Torre
Sarah Riggs is a writer, artist, filmmaker, and translator. She has published poetry books, most recently EAVESdrop with Chax (2020) and The Nerve Epistle with Roof Books (2021), as well as with 1913 Press, Burning Deck, Reality Street, Ugly Duckling Presse, éditions de l'attente, and Le Bleu du Ciel, and forthcoming with Les Poèmes du Monde, as well as chapbooks with Belladonna and Contrat Maint, and critical essays with Routledge. She is the translator of Etel Adnan's Time from the French with Nightboat (2019), which received the Griffin International Poetry and Best Translated Book Awards, as well as Face Before Against by Isabelle Garron with Litmus Press (2008), and books by Oscarine Bosquet, Ryoko Sekiguchi and others. She has paintings in collaboration with Emily Wallis Hughes's book of poetry Sugar Factory with Spuyten Duyvil in 2018 and a show of drawings for Laynie Browne's Amulet Sonnets (forthcoming also as a book with Solid Objects).
She is the director with Omar Berrada of Tamaas / Earth Arts Justice, and is currently working on a series called "Invitation to the Species" on SoundCloud and in film, working especially with poets, dancers and activists. Tamaas is collaborating with Litmus starting in 2021 on the publication of the Tamaas Translation Seminar which is in its 15th year.
Omar Berrada is a writer, translator and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma'm�n, a library and artists residency in Marrakech. Previously, he organized public programs at Centre Pompidou and hosted shows on French national radio. His work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. He is the author of Clonal Hum (2020), and the editor or co-editor of several books, including Album - Cinémathèque de Tanger, a multilingual volume about film in Tangier and Tangier on film (2012), The Africans, a book on migration and racial politics in Morocco (2016), and Ahmed Bouanani's posthumous history of Moroccan cinema, La Septième Porte (2020). Currently living in New York, he teaches at The Cooper Union where he and Leslie Hewitt co-organize the IDS Lecture Series.