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Yousif M. Qasmiyeh: Poetry Reading and Discussion

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A poetry reading and Q&A with Yousif M. Qasmiyeh

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Beginning the second year of our Poetry and Poetics series, Maynooth English Department is delighted to host Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, who will read from his highly acclaimed poetry collection, Writing the Camp (Broken Sleep Books). This event will be a webinar, and include an interactive Q&A with the poet.

Yousif M. Qasmiyeh is a poet and translator whose DPhil research at the University of Oxford’s English Faculty explores containment, the archive, and time in ‘refugee writing’ in English and Arabic.

His poetry and translations have appeared in journals and magazines including Modern Poetry in Translation, Stand, Critical Quarterly, GeoHumanities, Cambridge Literary Review and PN Review. Yousif is Creative Encounters Editor of the Migration and Society journal, Writer-in-Residence of the Refugee Hosts research project, and Joint Lead of the Imagining Futures Baddawi Camp Lab.

His collection, Writing the Camp (Broken Sleep Books, 2021), was The Poetry Book Society’s Recommendation for Spring 2021, and was Highly Commended by the 2021 Forward Prizes.

Praise for Writing the Camp:

“Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s Writing the Camp is a book with which every reader needs to be in dialogue, carrying it in their heart or on their back as a perpetual interlocutor. Qasmiyeh’s vast and cohesive philosophy of being, time, encounter, and place answers and displaces more comfortably established thinkers. Grounded in the exact and intimate knowledge of the camp, these writings acknowledge and refuse to rest with anguish or particularity, the archive or the universal. The fragment always has the integrity of the sequence. Here is dwelling, questioning, and life. This is what we have to consider if we are considering humanity, or modernity. This is a book to love.”

—Vahni Capildeo

“Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s Writing the Camp is a profound meditation on time, family and language, set in his native Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon by a poet with a rare gift for universal imagery and reflection. It is a sustained concentration on a nexus of crucial issues: dividing thresholds, human touch, place. For a comparison in English we might turn to the range of Blake’s 'Auguries of Innocence.' It is an extraordinary achievement in our time.”

—Bernard O’Donoghue

Image: © E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

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Organizer English Department, Maynooth University

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English at Maynooth is a leading, research-led university department, engaged in cutting-edge scholarship across specialisms and cultures.

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