Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Women's Studies. Middle Eastern Studies. Etel Adnan is a Lebanese-American poet, visual artist, and essayist. Her rich body of work documents an unblinking witness to beauty in nature, human beings and art; to cruelty, especially as enacted in the mindless violence of war; and to the power of love and human perseverance. In PREMONITION the voice is wise and paradoxical, opening with the observation, "There's always a conductive thread through space for untenable positions." Sentences are set apart in aphoristic cuts never wholly separate from this "conductive thread," and always shaped by the gem-like compressions of poetry. PREMONITION is a short book that refuses finality in a world of contingencies and human unpredictability. The only sure place to stand, in this late work of Etel Adnan's, must be created from day to day in life and art.
Aditi Machado @ Chicago Review
Etel Adnan was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1925, the daughter of a Greek Christian from Smyrna and a high- ranking Ottoman officer from Damascus. Her work as a whole is a faithful record of the times and places she has lived in Beirut, Paris, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. At least eighteen works by Adnan have been published in English. They include SITT MARIE ROSE (Post-Apollo Press, 1982); THE ARAB APOCALYPSE (Post-Apollo Press, 1989); SEA AND FOG (Nightboat Books, 2012), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and the California Book Award for Poetry; and PREMONITION (Kelsey Street Press, 2014). Nightboat Books published the 2-volume set, TO LOOK AT THE SEA IS TO BECOME WHAT ONE IS: AN ETEL ADNAN READER, in 2014. In 2011, Adnan received Small Press Traffic's Lifetime Achievement Award. Her paintings, described by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith as "stubbornly radiant abstractions," have been widely exhibited, most recently at Documenta 13 and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Spanning media and genres, Adnan's writings have led to numerous collaborations with artists and musicians, including the French part of CIVIL WarS, a multi-language opera by American stage director Robert Wilson, performed in Lyon and Bobigny in 1985. Author City: SAUSALITO, CA USA