"Darwish, beloved as the beacon voice of Palestinians scattered around the globe, had an uncanny ability to create unforgettable, richly descriptive poems, songs of homesick longing which resonate with displaced people everywhere."—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
Mahmoud Darwish (1942–2008), recipient of France’s Knight of Arts and Belles Lettres medal, the Lotus Prize, and the Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom, is widely considered Palestine’s most eminent poet. State of Siege was written while the poet himself was under siege in Ramallah during the Israeli invasion of 2002. An eloquent and impassioned response to political extremity, the collection was published to great acclaim in the Arab world. Munir Akash’s translation, including an introduction exploring the rich mythology of these poems, presents the first book-length, bilingual edition of State of Siege to an English audience.