Words without Borders is delighted to announce the debut of an ongoing series of podcasts produced by Andre Naffis. In his Poeboes series for WWB, Naffis will speak to writers and poets from around the world and feature clips of them reading from their work.
South African poet Breyten Breytenbach reads from his latest poetry collection: Voice Over: A Nomadic Conversation with Mahmoud Darwish (Archipelago, 2009). Part elegy to his friend, the recently departed Darwish, one of the leading Arab poets of the twentieth century and part travel diary spanning from Senegal to Northern Europe, this first episode features a ten-minute clip of Breytenbach reading from the book, which was recorded in Paris in May of this year and closes with a track entitled “Rebel Song” from an album of performance poetry Lady One released in 2002.
Breyten Breytenbach (1939–) famed activist, poet, painter and novelist is perhaps best known for The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist, an account of his imprisonment in South Africa for his struggle against the Apartheid regime. He currently divides his time between New York, where he teaches at NYU, Paris, and Senegal, where he is executive director of the Gorée Institute, a pan-African think tank.
Mahmoud Darwish (1941 –2008) universally regarded as the finest Arab poet of his generation, Darwish was one of the few figures to transcend the Palestine/Israel conflict and was honored on both sides of the divide. During his lifetime Darwish published over thirty collections of poetry and eight volumes of prose. He passed away following complications from heart surgery in Houston, Texas. Fady Joudah's (Yale Younger Poets Prize 2007) translation of Darwish's If I Were Another is out with Farrar, Straus and Giroux this fall.