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Mashriq & Mahjar 4, no. 1 (2017), 141-146 ISSN 2169-4435 DIASPORIC CARTOGRAPHIES: AN INTERVIEW WITH NATHALIE HANDAL Lily Pearl Balloffet & Elizabeth Claire Saylor The poet, playw-right, travel writer, and intellectual Nathalie Handal is a true citizen of the world. Born to a Palestinian family from Bethlehem, Handal was raised between France, Latin America, and the Middle East, and educated in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Handal's creative work reflects her nomadic upbringing and draws inspiration from multiple languages and cultures, making her one of the most important voices of the Arah Diaspora. Handal's La Estrella Invisible (The Invisible Star) (Valparaiso Ediciones, 2014) is the first contemporary collection of poetry that explores the city of Bethlehem and the lives of its exiles in the wider diaspora. As she states in the following intervkw, "although the atlas ofmy being is the globe, my gaze is always East." Handal has enriched international literature through research and translation as editor of two landmark anthologies, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetryfrom the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008, cd. by Handa!, Tina Chang and Ravi Shankar), and The Poetry ofArab Women (Interlink Books, 2001). By showcasing the work of 83 women poets from virtually every country in the Arabicspeaking world, The Poetry ofArab ·Women counteracts the invisibility of poets from marginalized groups. HandaI's work has been translated into more than fifteen languages - fitting for an artist whose work so thoroughly embodies the migratory and diasporic experience, which the writer calls "displacement and its disturbances." A weaver of words and cultures, and a wanderer among languages, landscapes, and art forms, Handa] has said: "Movement is creativity." She currently teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City, where millions of subway commuters daily read her poem "Lady Liberty," published as part ofthe Metropolitan Transit Authority's public poetry project, Poetry in Motion. It is precisely this presence of mobility as a central axis in Handal's work that makes her writing an important part ofthe diasporic vision ofthe field of Middle East Studies that AJashriq & Mahjar looks to foster. Alongside our contributors from the fields of anthropology, literary and cultural studies, history, sociology, and politica! science, Handal's artistry adds to the mosaic ofintellectual approaches that collectively counter the implicit stress upon fixity and stasis that is one of the main academic legacies of area studies. We believe that the following interview exemplifies many© Moise A. Khayrallah Centerfor Lebanese Diaspora Studies 2017 Mashriq & Mahjar 4, no. 1 (2017), 141-146 ISSN 2169-4435 DIASPORIC CARTOGRAPHIES: AN INTERVIEW WITH NATHALIE HANDAL Lily Pearl Balloffet & Elizabeth Claire Saylor The poet, playw-right, travel writer, and intellectual Nathalie Handal is a true citizen of the world. Born to a Palestinian family from Bethlehem, Handal was raised between France, Latin America, and the Middle East, and educated in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Handal's creative work reflects her nomadic upbringing and draws inspiration from multiple languages and cultures, making her one of the most important voices of the Arah Diaspora. Handal's La Estrella Invisible (The Invisible Star) (Valparaiso Ediciones, 2014) is the first contemporary collection of poetry that explores the city of Bethlehem and the lives of its exiles in the wider diaspora. As she states in the following intervkw, "although the atlas ofmy being is the globe, my gaze is always East." Handal has enriched international literature through research and translation as editor of two landmark anthologies, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetryfrom the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008, cd. by Handa!, Tina Chang and Ravi Shankar), and The Poetry ofArab Women (Interlink Books, 2001). By showcasing the work of 83 women poets from virtually every country in the Arabicspeaking world, The Poetry ofArab ·Women counteracts the invisibility of poets from marginalized groups. HandaI's work has been translated into more than fifteen languages - fitting for an artist whose work so thoroughly embodies the migratory and diasporic experience, which the writer calls "displacement and its disturbances." A weaver of words and cultures, and a wanderer among languages, landscapes, and art forms, Handa] has said: "Movement is creativity." She...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2169-4435
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-13
Open Access
Yes
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