Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. Middle Eastern Studies. Jewish Studies. In 2009, prompted by the Israeli siege of Gaza, Palestinian- American poet Deema Shehabi and Jewish-American poet Marilyn Hacker started a correspondence. It took the form of responding to each other's poems. They continued their poetic dialogue by email until 2012. The result was a sequence of renga called DIASPO/RENGA. The two poetic voices are beautifully meshed together, so that it actually reads as one long poem. The poetry is very rich in imagery, and these images stay with you, as do feelings the poems generate, for example, of unrest, of being in exile. Television shows you the pictures in the streets, this poetry takes you into the homes and minds of people. DIASPO/RENGA is a dignified celebration of humanity in and among atrocities. Although triggered by events in Gaza, it cleverly weaves in other conflicts past and present.