Farah, Summer: From Witness, From Speech, From Image: The Arab Apocalypse & Dictee [zine]

Farah, Summer: From Witness, From Speech, From Image: The Arab Apocalypse & Dictee [zine]

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(Zine, printed at Open Books, 2024)

We're excited to share our first in-house zine, "From Witness, From Speech, From Image: The Arab Apocalypse, by Etal Adnan & Dictee, by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha," by Summer Farah. Whether you're new to the work of these poets, or already an admirer, there's much insight and inspiration to be found in this gorgeously wrought essay. Farah's close reading of these two seminal texts offers astute, urgent reflection on poetry & art making in service to a steadfast resistance in the face of imperialism & genocide.

From the essay: "When reading for fun, my favorite feeling is immersion: to be consumed by language, uncertain you will ever be able to wade out from the text. Conversely, my favorite feeling in study is disorientation: to continuously chase an understanding that cannot quite be caught. To experience the two feelings simultaneously is a perfect mess. Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee and Etel Adnan’s The Arab Apocalypse are two texts that have offered me this messy simultaneity. ... Dictee is an epic poem wading through layers of empire that mutate and corrupt language; The Arab Apocalypse is a book-length poem that depicts the horrors of witness, languages the grief of it. ... In both cases, they attempt to communicate grief wrought by nationalistic violence. We cannot do this work justice in colonial language(s)—and so, we invent new practices. And so, the immersion of image."

This essay can also be found online, published by Poetry Northwest.

Summer Farah is a Palestinian American writer from California. The author of the chapbook I could die today and live again (Game Over Books, 2024), she organizes with the Radius of Arab American Writers and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She is calling on you to recommit yourself to the liberation of the Palestinian people each day.

** All proceeds of the purchase of this zine will be sent to Gaza Poets Society): "We are dedicated to curating anthologies and providing financial assistance to our team members who are facing hardships amidst the turmoil of war. Your contribution is crucial in aiding with evacuation efforts, facilitating the publication of magazines, and producing captivating podcast and poetry content. Your support for the Gaza Poets Society is not only appreciated but essential." **