Poet Sawsan Al-Areeqe on the Best and Worst of Being a Poet in Yemen and Why You Should Read Ali al-Muqri


While she was in Iowa City, participating in the International Writing Program (IWP)’s fall 2013 residency, Yemeni poet and filmmaker Sawsan Al-Areeqe spoke with the program’s “On the Map” series. The video interview was recently released on YouTube :

sawsanAl-Areeqe is the author of three poetry collections, The Square of Pain (2007), More Than Necessary (2004), and What if My Blood Turned Into Chocolate (2011). She is the winner of the British Council’s 2010 Zoom Film Contest for her short Prohibited, and of the Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Meknes International Film Festival for her short Photo.

On the Map: The best thing and worst thing about being a writer in your country?

Sawsan al-Areeqe: I cannot say either a best or worst, because writers develop a state of alientation from their environment. At the beginning of hteir writing career. As a writer, I learn to reprogram my relationship with…

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