, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Alise Alousi
Omaha, NE: Bradypress, 2011
PS3551 L665 T36 2011

Al-Mutanabbi Street in the heart of Baghdad, is named after the 10th century Arab poet Abu’ Tayib al-Mutanabbi. For centuries the winding street has been the center of Iraqi literary movements. Lined with booksellers and bookshops, scholars, poets, readers, writers and artists met to perform, debate and create. Shabandar Café, which opened in 1917, was the heart of this community. On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded in this crowded intellectual marketplace. Thousands of books and other written documents were destroyed. More than thirty people were killed, more than one hundred injured. In response to the attack, California poet and bookseller Beau Beausoleil brought together a coalition of poets, writers, readers, artists, booksellers and printers to comment on the implications of attack on culture as a way to conquer. Poem written in memory of those who lost their lives in the car bombing of 5 March 2007 on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. The poet and artist is a first generation Iraqi-American. Poem typeset in Gill Sans, title in News Gothic Condensed on Somerset text paper. Endsheets handmade by swirling strips of Arabic text that read “al-Mutanabbi Street” with cotton pulp. Handsewn into boards covered in Japanese silk with Indian marble paper pastedowns. Edition of forty copies. University of Utah copy is no. 33.