Home » Newpages Blog » Laertes Books

Sponsored :: New Book :: No One Is on the Line

No One Is on the Line: The Poetry of Mohsen Mohamed book cover image

No One Is on the Line: The Poetry of Mohsen Mohamed

Translated from the Arabic by Sherine Elbanhawy

Laertes, September 2023

These poems arose from the depths of incarceration, from the voice and intellect of Mohsen Mohamed (sentenced to five years of imprisonment after a campus protest in 2014) and went on to win Egypt’s two most significant literary prizes. They speak of dislocation and the wrenching of the heart, of a found (and forged) community, of the bare lineaments of humanity disclosed in the throes of suffering. They are works of provocative witness and searching tenderness.

“Mohsen Mohamed is an honest poet with a new dictionary, a keen eye for details and surprising twists, and a great talent.” —Amin Haddad, poet, winner of the International Cavafy Prize for poetry

New Book :: A Song by the Aegean Sea

A Song by the Aegean Sea poetry by Mohamed Metwalli book cover image

A Song by the Aegean Sea
Poetry by Mohamed Metwalli
Translated by Gretchen McCullough
Egret Chapbooks, 2022

From the Introduction: “Mohamed Metwalli was recognized as a poet in the Arab world at a young age in 1992, when he won the prestigious Yousef el-Khal prize by Riad El-Rayyes Books in Lebanon for his poetry collection, Once Upon a Time. He was only twenty-two. The Yousef El-Khal prize was a highly coveted award for the best first collection for poets in the Arabic-speaking world. Once, with a mischievous grin on his face, he told me how he rolled up at the ceremony in Beirut, clad in jeans and sneakers to pick up the prize – it was his first trip out of Egypt. A little over fifty now, he has published four collections of poetry. . . This book celebrates the underbelly of the city: the gypsies selling flowers, the roving musicians, the mussel-sellers, and the protesters. The elements of the city’s coastline are merged with the characters in an impressionistic, yet surreal canvas from a stranger’s point of view. The Traveler, i.e., the poet, or the singer of the Aegean song yearns to become part of the scene. Through this yearning, the poetry becomes lyrical.” – Gretchen McCullough