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Poems from above the Hill: Selected Poems of Ashur Etwebi
Translated by Brenda Hillman and Diallah Haidar
Free Verse Editions
Series Editor: Jon Thompson
Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-160-8 (paperback, $14; £10, $15 CAD, €12, $16 AUS); 978-1-60235-161-5 (Adobe eBook, $12, £9, $13 CAD, €10, $14 AUS). © 2011 by Parlor Press. 134 pages.
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Ashur Etwebi is one of Libya’s leading writers. A poet, novelist, and translator, he has published six books of poetry, two novels, and three books of translation.
Etwebi compactly renders experience in a hauntingly classical way. His work is rooted in the landscapes of his country, and in inventing forms in his literary traditions that will capture his engagement with his place and culture. His poetry is intimate but grand, innovative but traditional, influenced by Modernist poetry . . . yet populist and accessible. His phrasing and syntax are often very unpredictable, risk-taking, experimenting with neologisms, inventing language. In his work, there is often a strongly elegiac note; his irony reminds one of Eliot, his imagistic purity reminds one of Pound. Yet he has an intimate knowledge of his fellow creatures that brings to mind William Carlos Williams. Ashur Etwebi enters the mysterious places of the land and sea through the experiences of the human beings he encounters, never engaging in sentimental homage but putting forward a powerful and delicious reverie and a poetic vision.
—Brenda Hillman (from her Translator’s Note)
About the Translators
Brenda Hillman is the author of eight collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Practical Water. She is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
Diallah Haidar is a Lebanese-American and a native speaker of Arabic. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a BA degree in English Literature and in Near Eastern Studies. She received her MA degree from Columbia University in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.