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War

A black-and-white image of battered market kiosks
Photo copyright © Kseniya Fuchs
Conservation
By Kseniya Fuchs
I knew I was born here and I would die here.
Translated from Ukrainian by Ali Kinsella
The Lights of the Donbas
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
then there’s the war / that flabby, shriveled, animal word “war”
Translated from Russian by Yuliya Charnyshova & Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
February 23, 2022
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
“second time I’ve lost my home,” she utters with hatred / “officially, this time”
Translated from Ukrainian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler & Yuliya Charnyshova
Until the Threads Burn to Ash
By Aleksey Porvin
Hold an assault rifle with my hand, use my mouth
Translated from Russian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
There’s No Getting Out
By Olga Bragina
we won’t recognize this city anymore
Translated from Russian by Elina Alter
Multilingual
Transcending the Human Viewpoint
By Madeleine Feeny
I allowed myself to be very playful and unafraid, and to try everything.
A Tactical Alliance
By Mamadou Kalidou Ba
Depleted as they were, they realized that they had to either team up or go under.
Translated from French by Ros Schwartz
Writing Against Estrangement in Galicia
By Scott Shanahan
No doubt a few Galicians will think it in very bad taste to inaugurate this issue with a likeness to their higher profile southern neighbors, but because there may be a great many glad for the comparison,…
And They Say
By Susana Sanches Arins
i come from a family built on longing.
Translated from Galician by Kathleen March
Young Russophonia: New Literature in Russian
By Hilah Kohen & Josephine von Zitzewitz
These writings spark immediate conversations through rapid-fire literary texts rather than typical online commentary.
Destined from Birth
By Xenia Emelyanova
Enough of their butchery.
Translated from Russian by Katherine E. Young
Multilingual
New Voices: Afghan Women Writers
By Lucy Hannah
A nation’s upheaval cannot be understood without women's perspectives.
The Decision
By Afghan Author D
At that moment, there was another whistling sound, followed by a huge explosion.
Translated from Pashto by Zarghuna Kargar
Khurshid Khanum, Rise and Shine
By Afghan Author B
She could not have known that the caller at the other end of the phone was about to faint.
Translated from Dari by Parwana Fayyaz
Turn this Air Conditioner On, Sir
By Afghan Author C
It is one of those days when the winter sun is gorgeous, and you don’t want to even think of death.
Translated from Dari by Parwana Fayyaz
Time-Travelers, Fisherwomen, and Sleuths: Arabic Young Adult Literature
By Elisabeth Jaquette
While Arabic publishing has historically focused on literature for adults and young children, recent years have seen an increasing number of titles aimed at a young adult readership.
Against the Tide
By Taghreed Najjar
Who ever heard of a fisherwoman in Gaza, much less a young girl?
Translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette
Thunderbird
By Sonia Nimr
“It seems that Noor set fire to another student’s backpack.”
Translated from Arabic by M. Lynx Qualey
Black Saturday
By Djamila Morani
Soothsayers tell the truth even when they’re lying.
Translated from Arabic by Sawad Hussain
The Appearance of the Dragon, and His Disappearance
By Hooda El Shuwa
Khidr stepped out onto the street and was filled with an extraordinary horror.
Translated from Arabic by M. Lynx Qualey
A Note from the Editors: January 2020
By The Editors of Words Without Borders
A note from the editors on the occasion of our Rojava poetry feature.
[Only the madman has stayed behind in the city]
By Ciwan Nebî
What does he have to fear?
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Multilingual
Beyond the Headlines: Poetry from Rojava
By Shook
These poems display the health and vitality of a literature that has already proved to be a potent medium for self-expression, a grounds for linguistic experimentation, and an important declaration of autonomy itself.
[I needed to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to make it to work]
By Ciwan Qado
I proceeded with caution / Like a marble inching toward the line
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Multilingual
[I speak to]
By Cihan Hesen
silence sullen-faced fate reaches my ears
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Multilingual
Vi
By Kim Thuy
The realities of life in Indochina had nothing in common with those of France.
Translated from French by Sheila Fischman
All the Streets of the City
By Behçet Çelik
“From here on out it’s rooftop to rooftop, hocam.”
Translated from Turkish by Abby Comstock-Gay
The Terrorist Upstairs
By Emrah Serbes
I’m twelve years old, I won’t have to do a lot of time, I’ll be out before you know it.
Translated from Turkish by Abigail Bowman
“It’s Us and Them”: Writing from and about Divided Countries
By Susan Harris
In the current environment of relentless political strife . . . debate deteriorates into name-calling; partisans morph into zealots, complex issues are reduced to binary terms, and hostility seethes just beneath the surface.
A Doctor from Homs
By Wendy Pearlman
Most massacres occurred after Friday prayers.
Crime in Ramallah: Noor’s Story
By Abbad Yahya
There were a lot of weapons being brandished, a lot of threats being shouted, and there was a lot of waiting around. The intifada uprising shifted from the streets onto the TV.
Translated from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
MultimediaMultilingual
Ali Muhsin Market
By Nadia Al-Kokabany
He tossed and turned in his bed, trying to wrest those hours from his memory.
Translated from Arabic by Thoraya El-Rayyes
Losing Ground
By Zoran Janjanin
“It wasn’t a civil war. It was a rebellion.”
Translated from Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać
How Dorje Tsering Saved Tibetan
By Pema Bhum
Everyone knew that the way to become a revolutionary was through the Chinese language and not Tibetan.
Translated from Tibetan by Tenzin Dickie
from Abadaringi
By Jeroen Janssen
Those are things you mustn't ask questions about. Some people get sad.
Translated by Michele Hutchison
The Collapse of a Cellar
By Nawzat Shamdeen
“They shoot them right outside their front door and then send their folks a bill for the bullets.”
Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie
Fifteen Days
By Claudia Hernández
They'd take the girls to the hills for three or five days.
Translated from Spanish by Julia Sanches
The Angels Who Wiped My Fate Clean
By Kemal Varol
I was bound. I was a registered piece of inventory. I was a liability. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Translated from Turkish by Dayla Rogers
Women, Writing War
By Eliza Griswold
It’s a dubious privilege that a woman can tell war stories as brutal and devastating as a man can.
The Scream
By Claudia Salazar Jiménez
The Party. The Revolution. Blood. All of it, together.
Translated from Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer
Tito and Taxidermy, or What If Tito Had Been on Twitter?
By Ajla Terzić
The human factor is not essential. Sunscreen—now that's essential.
Translated from Bosnian by John K. Cox
Multilingual
The Seed of Evil: Sarajevo 1995
By Sonia Ristic
You don’t become a war correspondent by accident or by chance.
Translated from French by Paul Romano
Multilingual
From “What are the Blind Men Dreaming?”
By Noemi Jaffe
The compassionate understand pain, but pain cannot be understood; those who suffer understand nothing.
Translated from Portuguese and Serbian by Julia Sanches & Ellen Elias-Bursać
The True Story of “Faccetta Nera”
By Igiaba Scego
A black woman, in the regime’s view, simply could not be an Italian.
Translated from Italian by Antony Shugaar
From “Raking Light from Ashes”
By Relli Robinson
Now you’ll be our daughter a little bit too.
Translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
Crow, Wheels
By Lyuba Yakimchuk
Joyful relatives poured vodka for themselves / and for the dead
Translated from Ukrainian by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky
MultimediaMultilingual
[The whole soldier doesn’t suffer]
By Lyudmyla Khersonska
The whole soldier shrugs off hurt.
Translated from Russian by Katherine E. Young
MultimediaMultilingual
Curfew . . .
By Rocio Tábora
But the evil blanketed her room and she agonized without remedy.
Translated from Spanish by Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz
Mass Grave
By Faleeha Hassan
Our hands could not grip anything as long as their hands gripped our lives.
Translated from Arabic by William Maynard Hutchins
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