WiO founding member Jenny Lewis has been working with the exiled Iraqi poet, Adnan Al-Sayegh for eight years on translating his poetry into English and collaborating on an award-winning, Art Council-funded project, ‘Writing Mesopotamia’, aimed at fostering friendships between English and Arabic-speaking communities.

This book, Let Me Tell You What I Saw! is the first ever publication as a dual-language (English/Arabic) text of substantial extracts from Adnan’s ground-breaking epic poem, Uruk’s Anthem, one of the longest poems ever written in Arabic literature, which gives voice to the profound despair of the Iraqi experience. It took twelve years to write (1984-1996). During eight years of that time Adnan was forced to fight in the Iran-Iraq War. Many of his friends were killed and he spent eighteen months in an army detention centre, a disused stable and dynamite store, dangerously close to the border with Iran.

Uruk’s Anthem has been described as beautiful, powerful and courageous and at the same time apocalyptic and terrifying in its unwavering scrutiny of, and opposition to, oppression and dictatorship wherever it occurs in the world. Fusing ancient Arabic and Sumerian poetic traditions with many innovative and experimental features of both Arabic and Western literature, Uruk’s Anthem might best be described as a modernist dream poem that frequently strays into nightmare; yet it is also imbued with a unique blend of history, mythology, tenderness, lyricism, humour and surrealism that has already established it as a major literary classic in the Arab world.

To read an extract from Let Me Tell You What I Saw! click here: DOWNLOAD

To purchase a copy or for more information please click here

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