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Listen to the Birds

Cork World Book Fest

Listen to the Birds

Cork World Book Fest

Palestinian poet Marwan Makhoul and his translator Raphael Cohen, with Eibhlís Carcione, Áine Uí Fhoghlú & Louis de Paor. In collaboration with IMRAM and Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann.

Marwan Makhoul is a Palestinian poet, born in 1979 in the village of al-Buqei’a, Upper Galilee, to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother. He works in engineering as a managing director of a construction company. He has several published works in poetry, prose and drama, including the poetry collections: Hunter of Daffodils, Land of the Sad Passiflora, Verses the Poems Forgot with Me, Where Is My Mom, and A Letter from the Last Man. For his first play, This Isn’t Noah’s Ark, Makhoul won the best playwright award at The Acre Theatre Festival in 2009. His poetry is also award winning and has appeared worldwide in Arabic publications. Several of his poems have been set to music. Selections from his poetry have been translated into English, Turkish, Italian, German, French, Hebrew, Irish, Serbian, Hindi, Polish, Dutch, Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Amharic, Eastern Armenian, Bangla, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Russian, and Urdu.

During the 2023 Gaza war, the following poem of his became a slogan raised by tens of millions of protestors and written on the walls of cities around the world: “in order for me to write poetry that isn’t / political, I must listen to the birds / and in order to hear the birds / the warplanes must be silent.” These lines became the world’s loudest call for an end to the targeting of civilians.

Raphael Cohen was born in 1965 in Brighton and grew up in south London. “My mother’s native tongue was Swiss German and my father (born under Ottoman rule in Haifa) slipped between quotations from the Bible in Hebrew, the Qur’an in Arabic, and Molière in French.

After finishing school, I went in search of my ‘identity’ to Israel. I learned some Hebrew and basic Arabic. At university in Oxford I took a BA in Oriental Studies, studying both classical and medieval Hebrew and classical and modern standard Arabic. In the summer of 1987, I first came to Egypt, to improve my woeful Arabic. After my BA, I was privileged to be awarded a Century Fellowship at the University of Chicago. I went on to learn much from the late Farouk Abdel-Wahhab and the great Jaroslav Stetkevych, who instilled the hope that (classical) texts in Arabic could be more than just a philological puzzle to be deciphered.

After gaining my MA I spent 1993 and 1994 in Cairo. I worked as an editor and translator for the English language Al-Ahram Weekly. Aside for the usual news and comment pieces, I was also able to have my first literary translations published in the paper, including poetry by Amal Dongool and Ahmed Taha. In the heated atmosphere around the Oslo Accords, I learned that translators work in contexts that they may not fully comprehend, and I ended up successfully suing the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat for libel, after they wrote that I was working to polarize Egyptian culture and had been deported by the Egyptian authorities.

After becoming a father for the first time in 1998, I took a break from the hand-to-mouth existence of the freelance translator, and worked as a computer programmer and a criminal defence paralegal. From 2002 to 2006 I was active in the London branch of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and made two trips to Palestine, spending a month in the West Bank (2002) and in the Gaza Strip (2003).

In 2006, I returned to Egypt, after having been refused admission into Israel, where I hoped to live as a peace activist. From that time on, I have built my life in Cairo. I was lucky enough to be paid to read the dictionary, both Arabic to English and English to Arabic in my long stint working with Dar Elias, the renowned Egyptian publishers, whose first bilingual dictionary goes back to 1913.

Over the last years, I have worked as a freelance translator in the fields of politics, development and literature. Published translations include the novels So You Can See by Mona Prince (AUC Press 2011) Ahlem Mostaghanemi’s Bridges of Constantine (Bloomsbury, 2014) and George Yarak’s Guard of the Dead (AUC Press, 2019), the poetry collection Poems of Alexandria and New York by Ahmed Morsi (Banipal Books, 2021), and the non-fiction The Jewish Agency and Syria During the Arab Revolt in Palestine by Mahmoud Muhareb (I. B. Taurus, 2023). I was a contributing editor of Banipal Magazine, for which I first translated Marwan Makhoul.”

Is file agus údar do pháistí í Eibhlís Carcione. Tá trí chnuasach filíochta foilsithe aici: Tonn Chlíodhna (2015), Eala Oíche (2019) agus Bean Róin (2023). Tá Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge (Seachtain na Scríbhneoirí, Lios Tuathail) buaite aici faoi dhó. Bhuaigh sí Comórtas filíochta Fhéile Raifteirí agus Comórtas Filíochta Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich Béal Feirste i 2022. Bhronn an Chomhairle Ealaíon sparánacht uirthi i 2021. D’fhoilsigh Everything With Words a céad úrscéal do pháistí i 2023.

Eibhlís Carcione is an award-winning bilingual poet and children’s author from Cork.  Her three poetry collections in Irish, Tonn Chlíodhna (2015), Eala Oíche (2019), and Bean Róin (2023) are published by Coiscéim. She was awarded an Arts Council literature bursary in 2021. Her debut children’s novel Welcome to Dead Town Raven McKay was published by Everything With Words in 2023.

Áine Uí Fhoghlú is a poet and teenage fiction writer who comes from the Waterford Gaeltacht. She has published four collections of poetry to date. She has received commissions and bursaries from The Arts Council, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge. Awards won for her writing include the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary awards, Strokestown Duais na Gaeilge award, Listowel Writers’ Week, The Kavanagh Fellowship and the Markievicz Award.

Louis de Paor has been involved with the contemporary renaissance of poetry in Irish since 1980 when he was first published in the poetry journal Innti which he subsequently edited for a time.

His most recent works are Obair Bhaile (LeabhairComhar, 2021) and Grá fiar/Crooked love (Bloodaxe 2022) which includes a recording of his collaboration with Dana Lyn, One day/Lá dá raibh, a bilingual performance using poetry and music to present a day in the life of an imagined village in the West of Ireland. The recording was broadcast by Lyricfm and Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2021 and awarded a Gold Medal at the New York Festivals Radio Awards in 2022.

While poetry should always be romantic (there never is a practical reason for the stuff), he always avoided the romanticism of the mushy line and the soft tone and the fuzzy diction. There was always something wire-taut about his work. No floss here. Alan Titley (The Irish Times)

The collection rogha dánta is a rich representation of the work of a poet who is now in his prime and still producing fresh and challenging poems that speak to and across different generations. It is a mark of major achievement and a sign that there is much more to come. Máirín Nic Eoin (Poetry Ireland Review)

Tá hocht gcinn de chnuasaigh filíochta foilsithe as Gaeilge ag Louis de Paor. Ina meascsan, tá 30 Dán (1992), Seo. Siúd. Agus Uile (1996), Rogha Dánta (2012) agus Grá Fiar (2016).

Foilsíodh Obair Bhaile (LeabhairComhar), sraith dánta ar chúrsaí teaghlaigh agus caidrimh, sa bhliain 2021 agus an cnuasach dhátheangach Grá fiar/Crooked love (Bloodaxe) sa bhliain 2022. Sa leabhar áirithe sin, tá teacht ar thaifeadadh raidió den dán fada One day/Lá dá raibh le ceol nua-chumtha ó Dana Lyn a ainmníodh ar an ngearrliosta dosna New York Festivals Radio Awards 2022.

“While poetry should always be romantic (there never is a practical reason for the stuff), he always avoided the romanticism of the mushy line and the soft tone and the fuzzy diction. There was always something wire-taut about his work. No floss here.” Alan Titley (The Irish Times)

“The collection rogha dánta is a rich representation of the work of a poet who is now in his prime and still producing fresh and challenging poems that speak to and across different generations. It is a mark of major achievement and a sign that there is much more to come.” Máirín Nic Eoin (Poetry Ireland Review)


Sat 27 Apr 2024
20:30
€10/8

Palestinian poet Marwan Makhoul and his translator Raphael Cohen, with Eibhlís Carcione, Áine Uí Fhoghlú & Louis de Paor. In collaboration with IMRAM and Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann.

Marwan Makhoul is a Palestinian poet, born in 1979 in the village of al-Buqei’a, Upper Galilee, to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother. He works in engineering as a managing director of a construction company. He has several published works in poetry, prose and drama, including the poetry collections: Hunter of Daffodils, Land of the Sad Passiflora, Verses the Poems Forgot with Me, Where Is My Mom, and A Letter from the Last Man. For his first play, This Isn’t Noah’s Ark, Makhoul won the best playwright award at The Acre Theatre Festival in 2009. His poetry is also award winning and has appeared worldwide in Arabic publications. Several of his poems have been set to music. Selections from his poetry have been translated into English, Turkish, Italian, German, French, Hebrew, Irish, Serbian, Hindi, Polish, Dutch, Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Amharic, Eastern Armenian, Bangla, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Russian, and Urdu.

During the 2023 Gaza war, the following poem of his became a slogan raised by tens of millions of protestors and written on the walls of cities around the world: “in order for me to write poetry that isn’t / political, I must listen to the birds / and in order to hear the birds / the warplanes must be silent.” These lines became the world’s loudest call for an end to the targeting of civilians.

Raphael Cohen was born in 1965 in Brighton and grew up in south London. “My mother’s native tongue was Swiss German and my father (born under Ottoman rule in Haifa) slipped between quotations from the Bible in Hebrew, the Qur’an in Arabic, and Molière in French.

After finishing school, I went in search of my ‘identity’ to Israel. I learned some Hebrew and basic Arabic. At university in Oxford I took a BA in Oriental Studies, studying both classical and medieval Hebrew and classical and modern standard Arabic. In the summer of 1987, I first came to Egypt, to improve my woeful Arabic. After my BA, I was privileged to be awarded a Century Fellowship at the University of Chicago. I went on to learn much from the late Farouk Abdel-Wahhab and the great Jaroslav Stetkevych, who instilled the hope that (classical) texts in Arabic could be more than just a philological puzzle to be deciphered.

After gaining my MA I spent 1993 and 1994 in Cairo. I worked as an editor and translator for the English language Al-Ahram Weekly. Aside for the usual news and comment pieces, I was also able to have my first literary translations published in the paper, including poetry by Amal Dongool and Ahmed Taha. In the heated atmosphere around the Oslo Accords, I learned that translators work in contexts that they may not fully comprehend, and I ended up successfully suing the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat for libel, after they wrote that I was working to polarize Egyptian culture and had been deported by the Egyptian authorities.

After becoming a father for the first time in 1998, I took a break from the hand-to-mouth existence of the freelance translator, and worked as a computer programmer and a criminal defence paralegal. From 2002 to 2006 I was active in the London branch of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and made two trips to Palestine, spending a month in the West Bank (2002) and in the Gaza Strip (2003).

In 2006, I returned to Egypt, after having been refused admission into Israel, where I hoped to live as a peace activist. From that time on, I have built my life in Cairo. I was lucky enough to be paid to read the dictionary, both Arabic to English and English to Arabic in my long stint working with Dar Elias, the renowned Egyptian publishers, whose first bilingual dictionary goes back to 1913.

Over the last years, I have worked as a freelance translator in the fields of politics, development and literature. Published translations include the novels So You Can See by Mona Prince (AUC Press 2011) Ahlem Mostaghanemi’s Bridges of Constantine (Bloomsbury, 2014) and George Yarak’s Guard of the Dead (AUC Press, 2019), the poetry collection Poems of Alexandria and New York by Ahmed Morsi (Banipal Books, 2021), and the non-fiction The Jewish Agency and Syria During the Arab Revolt in Palestine by Mahmoud Muhareb (I. B. Taurus, 2023). I was a contributing editor of Banipal Magazine, for which I first translated Marwan Makhoul.”

Is file agus údar do pháistí í Eibhlís Carcione. Tá trí chnuasach filíochta foilsithe aici: Tonn Chlíodhna (2015), Eala Oíche (2019) agus Bean Róin (2023). Tá Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge (Seachtain na Scríbhneoirí, Lios Tuathail) buaite aici faoi dhó. Bhuaigh sí Comórtas filíochta Fhéile Raifteirí agus Comórtas Filíochta Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich Béal Feirste i 2022. Bhronn an Chomhairle Ealaíon sparánacht uirthi i 2021. D’fhoilsigh Everything With Words a céad úrscéal do pháistí i 2023.

Eibhlís Carcione is an award-winning bilingual poet and children’s author from Cork.  Her three poetry collections in Irish, Tonn Chlíodhna (2015), Eala Oíche (2019), and Bean Róin (2023) are published by Coiscéim. She was awarded an Arts Council literature bursary in 2021. Her debut children’s novel Welcome to Dead Town Raven McKay was published by Everything With Words in 2023.

Áine Uí Fhoghlú is a poet and teenage fiction writer who comes from the Waterford Gaeltacht. She has published four collections of poetry to date. She has received commissions and bursaries from The Arts Council, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge. Awards won for her writing include the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary awards, Strokestown Duais na Gaeilge award, Listowel Writers’ Week, The Kavanagh Fellowship and the Markievicz Award.

Louis de Paor has been involved with the contemporary renaissance of poetry in Irish since 1980 when he was first published in the poetry journal Innti which he subsequently edited for a time.

His most recent works are Obair Bhaile (LeabhairComhar, 2021) and Grá fiar/Crooked love (Bloodaxe 2022) which includes a recording of his collaboration with Dana Lyn, One day/Lá dá raibh, a bilingual performance using poetry and music to present a day in the life of an imagined village in the West of Ireland. The recording was broadcast by Lyricfm and Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2021 and awarded a Gold Medal at the New York Festivals Radio Awards in 2022.

While poetry should always be romantic (there never is a practical reason for the stuff), he always avoided the romanticism of the mushy line and the soft tone and the fuzzy diction. There was always something wire-taut about his work. No floss here. Alan Titley (The Irish Times)

The collection rogha dánta is a rich representation of the work of a poet who is now in his prime and still producing fresh and challenging poems that speak to and across different generations. It is a mark of major achievement and a sign that there is much more to come. Máirín Nic Eoin (Poetry Ireland Review)

Tá hocht gcinn de chnuasaigh filíochta foilsithe as Gaeilge ag Louis de Paor. Ina meascsan, tá 30 Dán (1992), Seo. Siúd. Agus Uile (1996), Rogha Dánta (2012) agus Grá Fiar (2016).

Foilsíodh Obair Bhaile (LeabhairComhar), sraith dánta ar chúrsaí teaghlaigh agus caidrimh, sa bhliain 2021 agus an cnuasach dhátheangach Grá fiar/Crooked love (Bloodaxe) sa bhliain 2022. Sa leabhar áirithe sin, tá teacht ar thaifeadadh raidió den dán fada One day/Lá dá raibh le ceol nua-chumtha ó Dana Lyn a ainmníodh ar an ngearrliosta dosna New York Festivals Radio Awards 2022.

“While poetry should always be romantic (there never is a practical reason for the stuff), he always avoided the romanticism of the mushy line and the soft tone and the fuzzy diction. There was always something wire-taut about his work. No floss here.” Alan Titley (The Irish Times)

“The collection rogha dánta is a rich representation of the work of a poet who is now in his prime and still producing fresh and challenging poems that speak to and across different generations. It is a mark of major achievement and a sign that there is much more to come.” Máirín Nic Eoin (Poetry Ireland Review)


Cork World Book Fest

Cork World Book Fest is back in 2024 for our twentieth anniversary! The fest welcomes Irish and international writers to Cork for an extravaganza of books and writing this April, writers such as Booker Prize winner Paul Lynch, debut author Lynda Marron, Palestinian poet Marwan Makhoul and more. See more »