Palestinian literature seems to be slowly peering out towards the limelight. And now the curtains will lift in New York from March 27-29, 2020, for Palestine Writes, a festival featuring writers from the war torn country.
The New York’s School of Visual Arts and New York University will host the festival. More than seventy writers, artists and intellectuals will take part in this festival.
If you are wondering why a Palestinian Literature Festival is being held in New York and why now, here are the answers.
Paula Puolakka (1982) is a Beat poet, writer, and MA (History of Science and Ideas) who has won poetry and short story contests held in the USA and Israel. In April 2019, her long essay concerning the problems with technology and the invisible warfare was given credit by The Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation and in June 2019, Puolakka’s poem was given an honorable mention by Tiny Spoon Literary Magazine. Her work can be found through Poetry Potion. Puolakka has also been judging a few small writing contests in Finland.
Kamila Shamsie is a British Pakistani writer who was given the German Nelly Sachs Prize.This award, named after the 1966 Nobel laureate, is given to a writer whose work shows “tolerance, respect and reconciliation”.
Kamila Shamsie herself expressed regret over the committee’s recent decision:
“In the just-concluded Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to annex up to one third of the West Bank, in contravention of international law, and his political opponent Benny Gantz’s objection to this was that Netanyahu had stolen his idea; this closely followed the killing of two Palestinian teenagers by Israeli forces – which was condemned as ‘appalling’ by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,” she said.