Listen to Refugee Hosts’ writer-in-residence, Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, in conversation with Adriana X. Jacobs (University of Oxford) who is the producer and host of the Staying Alive: Poetry and Crisis podcast series, as he discusses writing the camp, poetry’s ways of seeing, and the signs that death leaves in the camp to remember, revisit, and translate.

Death Leaves Signs



Adriana X Jacobs introduces Yousif and the Staying Alice podcast episode, Death Leaves Signs, as follows:

[In addition to being Refugee Hosts’ writer-in-residence,] Qasmiyeh is currently a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, where he is writing about conceptualisations of time and containment in Arabic and English “Refugee Literature.” His poems and translations in both English and Arabic have appeared in numerous journals, including Modern Poetry in Translation and An-Nahar, one of Lebanon’s leading daily newspapers.

As writer-in-residence for the Refugee Hosts Project, he contributes poetry, translations, and essays that draw from his childhood in and visits to Baddawi camp. Located in North Lebanon, Baddawi camp has been home to Palestinian refugees since the 1950s and in more recent years to refugees from Syria. In this episode, recorded in Oxford, we discuss writing the camp, poetry’s ways of seeing, and the signs that death leaves in the camp to remember, revisit, and translate

This episode features the poem “In arrival, feet flutter like dying birds,” which was featured in the 2017 Venice Biennale and can be read, along with other poems and translations by Qasmiyeh, here.

Staying Alive is an original podcast series produced and hosted by Adriana X. Jacobs, with editing by Danielle Beeber and Danny Cox, and music by The Zombie Dandies. Support for this podcast comes from the John Fell Fund. For more information about this episode, including materials that didn’t make it into the final cut, visit the podcast website

The podcast was originally posted here.

Featured image: Children playing in the original cemetery in Baddawi refugee camp (c) E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh.


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