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As this curation is posted it’s Christmas Day 2018.
Whether you celebrate Christmas as a Christian, or as a fun Santa event for the children, or whether it’s just another working day, there’s no getting away from the fact that the story of Jesus Christ began in that part of the Middle East that now constitutes the disputed territories of Israel and Palestine.
So we begin the Christmas Day curation with Palestinian poetry.
Christmas Gift: 6 Poems by Asmaa Azaizeh
That’s the header for a post from my go to place for news about literature in the Arab world, ArabLit.
Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh was born in 1985 in the village of Daburieh, in the Lower Galilee, Palestine, graduated with a degree in English literature in 2006, and alongside becoming the first Director of the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah. She won the Young Writer Award from Al Qattan Foundation in 2010 for her first volume of poetry, Liwa, published in 2011. Her sophomore collection, As The Woman From Lod Bore Me, was published in 2015, and elements were also staged.
Impressive credentials, but what about the poetry?
The ArabList post presents us one poem of six, and there are links to the other five.
I can’t quote any of the poems in full here without breaching copyright etiquette, and using just a few lines may diminish the impact of the whole, so I recommend you pop along to ArabLit for Dragonflies, and then follow the links to the others.
Apart from finding some moving poetry you’ll also discover other websites that will open up more portals into the wonderful world of Arab literature that many of us may previously have been unaware of.
Start the voyage of discovery here.
It would be easy to make today’s curation all about Christmas, but for many TNPS readers around the world Christmas is just another day, and for those that are celebrating the event, well, you can have too much of a good thing.
So let’s head away from the Middle East to the Caribbean. To Antigua, where a Cuban-born author living in New York is on a Caribbean tour to promote his children’s book.
Author takes readers on Caribbean journey
One of the true treasures of being a Caribbean person is seeing our similarities and our differences.
That was Mario Picayo, who wrote a children’s book irresistibly titled A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z).
The book island-hops,
revealing the rich variety of animals, food, and cultural touch stones throughout the region even as it introduced deeper, more universal concepts like love and justice (mixed in with tidbits of trivia) such as the fact that the first astronaut of African descent to fly into space is Cuba’s Arnaldo Tamayo-Méndez.
Picayo struggled to find a publisher. But once out there the book soon became required reading among its target audience.
In the Caribbean, we don’t have enough books for children that reflect our reality.
The post goes on to discuss the problems of cultural distribution in a region like the Caribbean, made up of countless islands each with its own distinct cultural flavours and languages – a topic I’ll try cover here on TNPS in more depth in the new year.
Meanwhile you can read more about Picayo and his 16-country Caribbean tour here.
Now let’s head east across the Pacific to Taiwan where preparations are underway for the Taipei International Book Exhibition in February.
‘The Book Thief’ writer to attend Taipei book fair
That will be Markus Zusak, of course, whose novel The Book Thief, first published in 2005, has now been translated into more than 40 languages and of course is also a film.
The Taipei Book Fair Foundation, organizers of Taiwan’s biggest literary festival, announced this past week that Zusak wil be at the Taipei fair to launch the Chinese edition of his latest novel, Bridge of Clay.
Find out more here.
From Taiwan let’s drift west across the Indian Ocean and across Africa to Nigeria, where the government is anxious to keep track of any books published by Nigerians.
Nigeria: Govt Wants Agencies to Deposit Publications With National Library
That’s not as ominous as it sounds. In fact many countries – including the US and UK – insist that copies of all publications are deposited with the respective national libraries.
Nigeria takes that perhaps one step further by asking that even Nigerians publishing from overseas should send copies of their books to the National Library.
But to be clear, this is not about approving or barring publications, just keeping a proper record of the country’s literary output for posterity, and this directive is aimed primarily at government agencies, but does impact individual authors and publishers.
State governments and their agencies must submit 10 copies, and federal governments and their agencies 25 copies, of all types of publications to the National Library within one month of publication.
Authors and publishers must deposit three copies of their publications with the NLN.
Read more here.
Finally today, a wayward journey to Kazakhstan via Thailand.
As reported here on TNPS, last month was held the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum in the Thai capital.
XXXBangkok opened the doors for creative individuals from around the world as part of this festival held 10 events, including creative performances by authors from Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Israel, Crimea, Belarus, Ukraine and the USA, book presentations, art exhibitions. The rich program of the festival did not allow guests and participants of the festival to rest.
Yeah, sounds like fun, but like me you probably missed it, so let’s be grateful for this extensive review of the event, or at least of the Kazakh contribution.
Книги казахстанских авторов презентованы в Таиланде
Read more here. And yes, as you may have guessed,, this is not an English-language post, but your browser translator should cope with it fine (at least, Google Chrome does), and if you want some insights into the Eurasia and Kazakh literary scene it will be worth the effort.
At which point today’s curation ends.
Another curation of must-read stories from the world of literature and publishing soon.