Title: Don’t Forget the Couscous
Author: mir Darwish
Published by: Smokestack Books
First Published: October 1st, 2015
Source: NetGalley (in exgange for honest review)
Don’t Forget the Couscous is a book of poetry about exile and home, love and loss. It is a beautiful love-song to the Arab world – Syria, Kurdistan, Morocco, Palestine and his native Aleppo. It is a memoir of the failed Arab Spring and the civil-war that has turned his native Syria into a ‘fountain of blood’. It’s a bitter account of the demonization of Islam in the West, and the violent interference of the West in the Islamic world. It is about being a Muslim and not a terrorist.
Amir Darwish draws on the magical-realism of Naguib Mahfouz, the social satire of Muhammad al-Maghut and the love poetry of Rumi to describe the experience of Islam in Europe – from ‘a Friday night doner kebab after a good night out’ to a ‘girl who has taken off the hijab in order to feel safe’ and ‘a mosque with broken windows’. It is a book about travel and love, and an apology on behalf of Muslims everywhere for having contributed nothing to the modern world except astronomy, coffee, clocks, algebra, falafels, apricots and doner kebabs. And don’t forget the couscous…
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I know I’m late with this post. I actually wasn’t planning on posting this until a couple of days ago. April is National Poetry Month! A lot of people are reading and writing poetry this month to honor it. There’re a lot of activities with poetry going on right now that you can take part in. Maureen Thorson’s annual project, NaPoWriMo, (no not NaNoWriMo thats another thing) is one of many where she challenges aspiring poets to write 30 poems in 30 days (she also provides optional prompts to help you along). Cool huh? It has poets busy tagging their work with #NaPoWriMo and #NationalPoetryMonth. Or if you’re more of an admirer just read a poetry! There are a lot of great poems out there. Buy a poetry book this month or borrow one from the library or a friend. Of course there is always the internet! I got into poetry by reading poems that people posted on their websites or on Wattpad accounts. Here are some places you can check out: I’m sure some of you know of Tyler Knott. He recently ( I think maybe last year ) published his book of poetry, Chasers of the Light (awesome title right? ). Tyler Knott has a website where he regularly posts poems and every now and the a photograph (he is also a photographer!).
There’s an example of his writing style and what he posts.
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