Nothing More to Lose
by Najwan Darwish, translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Nothing More to Lose is the first collection of poems by Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish to appear in English. Hailed across the Arab world and beyond, Darwish’s poetry walks the razor’s edge between despair and resistance, between dark humor and harsh political realities. With incisive imagery and passionate lyricism, Darwish confronts themes of equality and justice while offering a radical, more inclusive, rewriting of what it means to be both Arab and Palestinian living in Jerusalem, his birthplace.
Readers may presume that writers faced with the immediate realities of life under occupation are limited by the attendant tropes of rage and despair, or else flee into sentimentality or aesthetics. Najwan Darwish's poetry is different. Constrained by neither temporality nor place, his poetry is a medium of defiance, employing a sharp wit to illuminate absurdities and injustices. Darwish's poetry renders the particularity of the Palestinian experience in luminous imagery and piercing obser-vations, but his imagination and interests are not limited by borders.
—Emily Dische-Becker, Poetry International
One of the most exciting young voices in the Arab world.
Najwan Darwish's poetry is different: it seems to have overcome the false dichotomy between poetry and social and political reality. What struck me first about reading these poems is his capacity to do justice to both poetry (to image, to condensed form) while also doing justice to its surrounding reality. This is a significant challenge: how to mediate between two intense forms without ruining either.
—Bashir Abu-Manneh, Barnard College