wetness ... pours onto my paper out of my pen
July 7, 2009 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Suheir Hammad, a Palestinian-American poet and activist now based in New York, writes about being a Muslim immigrant and also a woman challenging conventions. Spotted by Russell Simmons for Def Poetry Jam, she has performed pieces about love in the time of war, exoticising beauty, and a touching ode to her father, among many others. Suheir has just produced and released her first feature film Salt of This Sea, up for the Cannes Films Festival and possibly an Oscar, and recently performed in Ramallah for the 2009 Palestinian Festival of Literature.
posted by divabat (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
What, no link to "First Writing Since"?

Great FPP, though, Suheir Hammad is a talented poet.
posted by nonmerci at 9:57 AM on July 7, 2009

Oh, I love the "Not Your Exotic, Not Your Erotic." Granted, some measure of fascination with the "other" is kind of fun (I'm still amazed my boyfriend is golden haired, when I was a kid I thought all blondes dyed their hair because I couldn't imagine my family producing someone colored like that). And when I get held up as something special or different, I can't help but feel complimented.

But I'm thinking, really? I speak the same language as you, I watched the same cartoons growing up as you, I'm just as ashamed of being just as American as anyone else. I start to feel like one of those jerky little ethnic caricatures lining the chlorine-scented moat at Disneyland's Small World ride.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:06 AM on July 7, 2009

Damn this is good.
posted by chunking express at 10:51 AM on July 7, 2009

The poem she performed in Ramallah is great.
posted by chunking express at 10:59 AM on July 7, 2009

thanks for this! great FPP

i was lucky enough to see her perform at UMass when she was a visiting artist there - she was hypnotic, electrifying & utterly potent - and then luckier still to meet her in person later: unassuming, graceful & easy to talk to

her latest book, Breaking Poems, is truly excellent
posted by jammy at 4:10 PM on July 25, 2009

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