Yousif M. Qasmiyeh


Yousif M. Qasmiyeh is Refugee Hosts’ Writer-in-Residence. He is a poet and translator, and tutor in Arabic at the University of Oxford. In addition to his recent contributions to Refugee Hosts – including ‘Writing the Camp’, ‘The Camp is Time’, ‘Refugees are Dialectical Beings Parts One and Two‘, ‘A Sudden Utterance is the Stranger‘ and ‘The Jungle‘, his recent poems include ‘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). His academic articles have been published in edited collections including Being Palestinian: Personal Reflections on Palestinian Identity in the Diaspora (ed. Y. Suleiman, Edinburgh University Press, 2016), Rescripting Religion in the City: Migration and Religious Identity in the Modern Metropolis (ed. J. Garnett and A. Harris, 2014), and in the Journal of Refugee Studies (2010).

A long-standing translator of Arabic poetry, his translations of poets including Nazih Abu Afash, Tammam Al-Tillawi, Abd Al-Hadi Al-Said, Rasha Omran and Firas Suleiman have been published, amongst others, in Modern Poetry in Translation and The Oxonian Review. Since 2012, Yousif has regularly led literary translation workshops with student-led PEN and Oxfam groups, resulting in a series of publications in The Oxonian Review and in poetry pamphlets co-edited by these groups, such asShall I Write About My House? Poetry Reflecting on the Syrian Refugee Crisis’ and ‘Flight: An Anthology of Poetry in Response to the Refugee Crisis’.

Yousif’s poem, ‘If this is my face, so be it’ (Modern Poetry in Translation, 2016), featured in Jenny Holzer’s public light projection artwork at Bispetorv (Aarhus, Denmark) in March 2017 as part of the European Capital of Culture festival, and was exhibited from  May 2017 in a new installation at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2017, his poetry also featured in ‘The Absence of Paths’ as part of the Tunisian Pavilion exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

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