We are delighted to announce that Refugee Hosts’ writer-in-residence Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s poetry collection, “Writing the Camp”, will be released on the 28th February 2021 (published by Broken Sleep Books), and has been selected as The Poetry Book Society’s Spring 2021 Recommendation. The collection is available to pre-order here.

Praise for Writing the Camp:

“Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s Writing the Camp is a book with which every reader needs to be in dialogue, carrying it in their heart or on their back as a perpetual interlocutor. Qasmiyeh’s vast and cohesive philosophy of being, time, encounter, and place answers and displaces more comfortably established thinkers. Grounded in the exact and intimate knowledge of the camp, these writings acknowledge and refuse to rest with anguish or particularity, the archive or the universal. The fragment always has the integrity of the sequence. Here is dwelling, questioning, and life. This is what we have to consider if we are considering humanity, or modernity. This is a book to love.”  

– Vahni Capildeo 

“Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s Writing the Camp is a profound meditation on time, family and language, set in his native Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon by a poet with a rare gift for universal imagery and reflection. It is a sustained concentration on a nexus of crucial issues: dividing thresholds, human touch, place. For a comparison in English we might turn to the range of Blake’s Auguries of Innocence. It is an extraordinary achievement in our time.”

– Bernard O’Donoghue

 “In Writing the Camp, Yousif M. Qasmiyeh’s ambitious and memorable sequence attends to the overheard cry, the inflicted wound, the worn threshold of home, the treachery of words. In a language forged of psalmodic music and prophetic enigmas, Qasmiyeh takes us into a metaphysical space of dislocation where love, courage and hope light flares in the darkness.”  

– Marina Warner

The title of the collection, “Writing the Camp” is also the title of the theoretical framework and writing project that Yousif has developed as part of his role as writer-in-residence for the Refugee Hosts project. His recent contributions to Refugee Hosts include ‘The Bomb Shelter,’ ‘With a Third Eye, I See The Catastrophe‘, ‘Writing the Camp’, ‘The Camp is Time’, ‘Refugees are Dialectical Beings Parts One and Two‘, ‘A Sudden Utterance is the Stranger‘ and ‘The Jungle.’ Yousif’s publications in journals and magazines include a sequence entitled ‘Time’ (Humanities, 2020), ‘At the Feast of Asylum’ (GeoHumanities, 2016), ‘If this is my face, so be it’ (Modern Poetry in Translation, 2016) and ‘Thresholds’ (Critical Quarterly, 2014).

To learn more about Yousif’s work on the Refugee Hosts project, you can access his poetry and translations through our Creative Archive and our Writing and Poetry series. You can also listen to Yousif reading his poetry here.

Featured image: ‘Writing the Camp’ cover (c) Broken Sleep Books

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