There Was And How Much There Was
30pp | 978-1-910367-71-1Price: £7.5
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One of the 2016 Laureate's Choice poets, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy.
Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her first collection, To Live in Autumn, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize. Her second collection, Louder than Hearts, won the 2016 May Sarton NH Poetry Prize. She's also the author of 3arabi Song, winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize. She's been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Forward Prize. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and the Rialto, among others. She performs her poetry both in the Middle East and internationally. Her website is www.zeinahashembeck.com
'Whether drawing on myth or fairytale, or writing directly from women's experience, these are powerful poems by a new writer with a remarkable gift for storytelling.'
– Carol Ann Duffy
'There are memorable characters here and women’s solidarity, although the poet may not call it that. There’re cultural structures, and rebellion, and revival from that. There are killers of the spirit; and customs as seductive as secrets, but all that wouldn’t matter if there were not storytelling. There’s never been a comfort zone for poets. All that can be done is show the alternative point of view as well as possible, and make the poem act on that. My favorite of several is the seven–page poem ending the book, also the title for the book. It’s surreal with a whole raft of incidents peppered with reality. It’s a combination of cinematic accuracy and dreamlike (hard) truths. What we see is a breakthrough book, with unexpected events, and reactions that inform and inspire life as a modern Arab woman.'
– Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books
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