The Poeticians.

Poets sharing words from the Middle East to haunt the lyrical world.

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Poets

The Poeticians has been blessed with the presence of many wondrous writers from various continents who have shared rhythm, thoughts, moods, reflections and personal experiences with audiences in Beirut, Amman and Dubai. Below is a list of writers with links to some of their poems on the home page. I thank them for coming forward and making the Poeticians an ongoing intimate space where we are free, connected, and lyrically alive.
Also, I thank them just for being who they are, revolutionaries on paper, and loads of good old fun.

Agri Ismail (Dubai by way of God-Knows)

Agri Ismaïl is a writer of legalese and fictions. Though he can speak 5 languages he cannot drive nor can he tie his shoe laces. (He can, however, play a mean game of Tetris.) He has slept through several bombings (Baghdad) and a car-jacking (Tehran). He has mistaken a night-club fire alarm for German electronic music and an earthquake for a vibrating mobile phone. He serves, then, mostly as a potent and compelling argument against natural selection. When he was in his mid-20s, he wore a chicken costume for 7 year-olds in front of thousands of spectators in order to preserve the artistic integrity of the Bollywood version of Romeo & Juliet that he had co-written. When he’s not writing 80-page site service agreements, he noodles on short pieces about masculinity and capitalism and has been trying to finish the same novel for seven years.

Read one of his pieces here.

Zeina Hashem Beck – (Beirut/Dubai)

Lebanese. Loves Hamra. Loves chocolate and and koussa bi laban. Loves coffee, not for its taste, but for what it means. Loves the theater as a space. Loves to perform her poetry. Writes when her two beautiful daughters are asleep. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in literary magazines like Quiddity, Silk Road, and Copper Nickel.
Read some of her poems here.

Mazen Zahreddine: (Beirut)

Mazen is the long awaited Mahdi, a golden Jazz Devil singer of songs, a psychotic cross-dresser and most importantly a writer of trash plum fiction. Born with a brain wired wrong, a genetically weak heart, arched feet, he trudges on.

Read one of his poems here.

Rewa Zeinati: (Beirut/Dubai)

Woman. Arab. Immigrant. American. Divorced. Brown-eyed. Thirty something.  All of these things and none.  All I want out of this short breath called life is to write and paint. And drink bags and bags of black tea. And pretend i’m still a smoker. And sleep at odd hours of the morning. And conversate with the human alien. And.

Read one of her poems here.

Hind Shoufani: (Unclear Location)

A female Palestinian attempt at making films, writing poems for no reason aside from desire to do so, is interested in sparkly objects of all kind, seeks light in all surfaces, human or not, loves labneh, yogurt drinks, potatoes and whiskey. Addicted to music and words. Not sure where she lives or what she does, but somehow colors always appear, laughter rises constant, a memory of Yasmine inspires, and the world is so big, yet so small. Obsessive and high maintenance, the Poeticians is a place for her to pour longing and love.


Kevin Simpson: (Dubai)

FLY
Learner
Innovative
Noble
Talented
A tall drink of water
Kobe-not me
Dreaming it
Doing it
Being it

Read one of his poems here.

Lara Balaa: (Beirut)

a lover of the arabic language
an occasional writer
might not make me a poet
but definitely makes me a poetician!

Read one of her poems.

Tina Fish: (Beirut)

Female, Palestinian/Lebanese/American, Born 25/7/1987 and raised in KSA, now in Beirut. I write. A lot.

Read one of her poems here.

Chris Chamoun: (Beirut)

Chris Chamoun was born, in a great irony, on All Saints Day 1986. His childhood was a complete waste of time, but he found music in his late teens and has not looked back since. He is often difficult to understand, but well worth the effort, he feels.

Read one of his poems here.

Nizar Wattad: (LA/Palestine)
Nizar Wattad also goes by Ragtop, but not because he wants to. He represents Palestine, but wishes he didn’t have to. He writes because he loves to.

Visit him at:
www.thephilistines.com

Read one of his poems here.

Sarah Snowneil Ali: (inside Atelier Poetica)

Sarah Snowneil Ali is a poetess -insert witty bio-. Writing. living. loving. She especially loves kicking pebbles on the street, drinking beer from the bottle and narrating to herself as she walks. Obsessed with flowers, flower patterns and everything in the shape of a flower she has consequently called her chapbook “The Flower Girl” and hopes one day to be removed from this corporate and mundane existence to bathe daily in sunlight and laugh only in freedom.

Read one of her poems here.

Fouad Boulos: (Beirut)–Bio by Hind.

Fouad is a gentle warrior, a poet, a painter, and he used to be quite the introspective and creative blogger. In real life, he is a doctor. He likes little colorful slides under microscopes. He likes to walk in Hamra and attend the theater and eat large plastic cups of fruits in juice. He is blessed with three impeccable languages and is addicted to playing on words, much to our benefit. He is funny and sad and filled with longing and care and a slow burning intense love for those in his life. He is the author of a poetry book titled “Letters from the sad king”. I thank him for his words.

Read one of his poems here.

Edmund Haddad: (Beirut)

إدمون حداد، ولدت في بيروت عام 1981
أكتب باللغة العربية، أحلم بأشياء كثيرة أعلّقها فوق رأسي حين أخرج من المنزل لحمايتي من “صيبة العين” حسب ما قالت لي أمي.
حالياً أحضر لنشر مجموعة قصائد.

أكتب عن كلّ شيء أحبّه…
أحب بيروت وكرة القدم وأحد الشعانين
أحب الأشجار وبشكل خاص: الليمون والزيتون والسنديان والصنوبر والصفصاف والثرو.

أعمل أيضاً في الإبداع الإعلاني وكتابة التلفزيون وغيره من الأعمال التي تضمن مبلغاً من المال يكفي للخروج وتمضية وقت رائع مع نساء جميلات

My name is Edmund Haddad, born 1981. I write in Arabic. I dream of many things that hang above my head when I leave the house to walk around, protecting me from what my mother calls “the evil eye”.

I am currently preparing for a book of poems.

I write about the things I love. I love trees. Particularly the lemon tree, olive tree, oak, willow, pine trees and others that Hind cant quite translate right now. I also work in creative writing for media, advertising and TV, so I can make enough money to go out and have glorious nights with beautiful women.

Read one of his poems here.

Nigel Holt: (Dubai)
Nigel Holt is a British teacher and trainer, and has lived and worked in the UAE for a number of years. He is a writer of mainly formal poetry, which is often lyrical as well as often political. Having lived in the Middle East for so many years, its influence is apparent on his work. He has recently appeared in The Raintown Review, Snakeskin and Counterpunch, and has work forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg, The Raintown Review and the Flea. He is editor of the poetry ezine The Shit Creek Review with Rose Kelleher and Angela France.

Read one of his poems here.

Laurel Harig: (Beirut)

Laurel Harig is a devoted writer, meaning sometimes she is not sure if
she loves anything in this mad world except for the alphabet. She
writes in English but when the mood strikes in Spanish and hopefully,
soon, in Arabic. She enjoys drinking tea, staring at the Mediterranean
and organizing activism events.

Read one of her poems here.

Nobuntu: (Dubai)

I am an African. Sky, Soil, and Everything in between.

I was named Nobuntu and it was not a mistake. I am heavy laden. I am conscious. The spirit of uBuntu lives in me, I am because we are. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. I rebel, I conform. I am lazy. Mother of humanity is what my name means.

Read one of her poems here.

Jehan Bseiso: (Beirut via Palestine and everywhere else.)

Jehan is a secret poet of long sentences and bad punctuation.

Likes: bright shoes, big words, unexpected sun, French, Fairuz, eggs with Ketchup.

Dislikes: exodus, unexpected rain, mayonnaise, deadlines, maps, occupation.

Read one of her poems here.

Maria Abou Abdallah: (Beirut)

Maria doesn’t like the fact that strings of words she could’ve-would’ve-should’ve written down decide to run through her head while she’s obligingly rushing off somewhere to run errands or do other things to maintain her existence in some societal system.

But in her web of significance she has dusk and loved ones and a nomadic itch.

She sleeps curled up in a cup of coffee under a piece of Beirut sky she snatched before she left, and wears a small blue eye around her neck.
In her spare time, Maria a social psychologist. She is currently researching why religion makes people do the things they do.

Read one of her poems here.

Frank Dullaghan: (Dubai)

Frank Dullaghan is an Irish poet who has been living in Dubai since Sept 2006. His first collection On the Back of the Wind is published by Cinnamon Press in the UK. Whilst living in the UK, he edited the poetry magazine Seam. He was one of the main organisers of the Essex Poetry Festival and led the panel of judges for the Young Essex Poet of the Year competition. Frank has an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Glamorgan University. His poems have been published in The Dark Horse, London Magazine, New Welsh Review, Nimrod, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Quadrant and the Shop amongst many others.

Read one of his poems here.

Hajer: (Dubai- by way of Palestine.)

I was born in the desert and will die in water. Beauty surrounds me, the sand, sounds, colors, sloping shoulders, or mud coated paws. Lot’s of what I say on a daily basis is nonsense. My mistakes define me. Between my body, the air, and God’s love is a trilogy waiting to be narrated. I am still on the first chapter. Watching Nat Geo calms me. I like snakes and shawarma. Sushi too. I write in Arabic when I am in love, and in English when I fall out of it. I am more in love than out of it. And that’s ok. I have a big heart. And it keeps on growing.

Read one of her poems here.

Jamal Iqbal: (Dubai)

Jamal is a self-confessed people watcher. Whether on a sidewalk café or in a bus in some strange land. Constantly observing. Recording. Regurgitating on a white sheet. Or a white screen of late.
An actor, poet, writer and sometimes singer, he also pretends to be an advertising “creative” director at times. Loves talking. Believes in brevity when it comes to writing.
His thousand words – are still unfinished.

Read one of his poems here.

Dima Matta: (Beirut)

Born in 1988, survived the last two years of war with only a diaper rash. I write mostly about love and war; the only two things that matter. I’m into drama and have been acting for the past six years, and when Shakespeare said that the world is a stage, I realized that he wasn’t kidding!

Read one of her poems here.

Michael Oghia: (Beirut.)

Michael Oghia is an Arab-Armenian-American sociologist who usually goes by the nickname “Ogie,” and absolutely loves alliteration. He doesn’t consider himself a poet, merely someone who writes poetry. He only writes at the perfect crossroads of inspiration and catharsis. He loves life, love, hummous, rum, flip-flops, and everything in between. The sea is his tranquility, his family is his passion, and the world a canvas to illustrate with words, metaphors, music, and laughter. He cares about peace, and he is already in love with the children he doesn’t even have yet, and with their mother even more.

Read one his poems here.

Emma Shaw Crane (- USA/honorary sunflower of Beirut)

Emma grew up covered in dirt and apple juice stains, speaking Spanglish and longing to be a ninja. She now lives in Bogotá, where she does research on the families of ex-combatants living with HIV in Colombia, rides her swift black road bike among killer buses, is a member of a young women’s hip hop collective, and spends her favorite Sundays with best friends Camilo and Fabián, recovering from Saturday night. Her heroes include June Jordan, Bety Cariño, Mahmoud Darwish, and her mom, Susan. Her big goals for 2011 include an epic surf road trip and reading books on the history of Oakland. Her poems were published in 2010 in the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.
Read some of her poems here.

Binmugahid: (Dubai/Sudan)

Binmugahid became a father 14th August 2002, that was a good feeling. He tweets as @binmugahid to keep his son educated, enlightened and entertained long after he is dead and gone.

Other than that, he was born in Khartoum and is forever grateful for the biological perks that come with that, Don’t ask.
He is trained as an engineer and refers to what he does for a living as “Monetizing strategic inflection points in the global data network work, Baby!!!” He has been recently lured into the world of poetry like all other aspiring male poets, because there are ladies there who are forced to listen to what he has to say.

So anyway, here is a poem he wrote for the Poeticians talking about falling in love, over and over and over and over again.

Justyna Janik: (Dubai by way of Poland/Canada.)

Justyna is on a mission to conquer the world but is invariably always
conquered by it, which sucks for personal sanity but is sufficient
inspiration to write. The further from the idea of home the greater
her need for inner maps to tell her where she should be going next. Read some of her poetry here.

Layth Barzangi: (Dubai by way of Iraq.)

Chronically misunderstood eccentric. At every possible opportunity, shoots off biting sarcasm that burns worse than an exploding car battery. But in the end, essentially just a simple multicellular living organism with a big heart and a bigger sense of humour. Read one of his poems here.

Farah Chamma- (Dubai by way of Palestine. )

I was born in April, 1994, so that makes me almost 18. I love the fact that I am Poeticians’ youngest poet. It makes me never want to grow up. Poeticians has revived my passion for writing. Whenever I hear that a Poeticians event is coming up, my pen almost starts to write on its own. All it takes is for me to imagine myself standing before the crowd, feeling all these wonderful things.
Sometimes the idea of poetry makes me laugh. My sudden usage of words like “thee” or “valorous” on an ordinary day appears even to me as very unanticipated. Why I have to jot down my quotidian thoughts in a manner that is more musical than regular speech, I do not really know. I just know that something very special happens to me when I start to write. I start to see even the smallest happenings of the world as lyrical verses.
My poetry is inspired by many things. Coffee, nature, religion, and Palestine. Religion to me is a philosophy. It is the door through which I question even the simplest of things. I like to refer to it as faith in order to avoid any polemic. I am currently studying the French language at L’université Paris-Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi. I plan on studying International Law, Comparative Literature, and Religious studies. How I am going to combine all three together, I am still not very sure. I just know I am going to have a whole lot of things to write about once I am there.
Read one of her poems here.

Mohamed Lamrad: (Dubai)

Mohamed Lamrad is a firm believer in Truth.
That being said, he was born in a Zoo. He found it be to a most illuminating experience and one that to this day he credits for his undying love of Nature. One day though, during the outdoor play sessions with the other infants, he began to recognize from his lack of sprouting horns and feathers, tails and claws, that he may be different. Spurred on by this realization, he proceeded to orchestrate a Zoo break-out, and rallied the other infants in this cause.
His first attempts relied on the efforts of his closest relative, the Hominoidea. They were largely unsuccessful, mainly hampered by the Hominoidea’s strange fixation with flinging feces at passers-by. Undeterred, he forged on and soon found a reliable ally in Giraffa camelopardalis, whose relatively exponential month-on-month growth proved quite advantageous. It was an entire year before all the pieces of his master plan came together, and not to bore you with its details we shall share but one aspect….it was epic.
But quickly hushed up by the authorities, fearful of losing their jobs had it been discovered that a Homo sapien had gone on living amidst the other Zoo animals for so long a period, unclassified.
Free amongst his fellow beings, and just in time as he had now learnt to speak, Mohamed Lamrad embarked on a journey to uncover all that was grand and majestic about Homo sapiens. 26 years on, he is still searching and has begun to fear that his initial break-out may have only landed him in a larger enclosure.
He is currently planning an even greater break-out, and welcomes all and any participants… but those with feces-flinging fixations. He doesn’t know how and doesn’t know when, but does know one thing for certain. His next break-out will be firmly grounded in Truth.
Because Mohamed Lamrad… is a firm believer in Truth.

Read one of his poems here.

Dorian Paul D- (Abu Dhabi by way of the U S of A)

Since I can remember, I’ve always had a fondness for words. In primary school, I was listening to nursery rhymes for the first time and guessing the last word of each line. Kids looked at me in amazement as if I had some super power. Years later, I recognized that I did. I am story-teller, wordsmith, cultural leader, and a pretty handsome fellow if I may say so myself.
Because of poetry, I have been able to perform in front of thousands. Poetry has taken me to Berlin, South Africa, Ethiopia. I have helped to make poetry a popular part of the Abu Dhabi nightlife. I am thankful to God that my words can evoke emotions, sometimes laughter, other times sadness, and most times introspection. As the founder of Rooftop Rhythms, Abu Dhabi’s 1st Poetry open mike night, I have been fortunate to see poets grow, mature, and find confidence in having a monthly platform to share their works. It has been an honor to work alongside the Poeticians in making poetry a cultural staple for positive self-expression in the UAE. In no time, spoken word will be respected and revered for the life-changing art form that it is.

Read one his poems here.