Revolt Against the Sun

About Episode

Nazik al-Mala’ika was an Iraqi woman poet of great influence and renown through the 1940s, 50s and 60s. She pioneered new poetic forms and re-invented a heritage of feminine, emotional, elegiac poetry-making. We are joined by scholar and translator Emily Drumsta to discuss a new bilingual collection of al-Mala’ika’s poetry, Revolt Against the Sun. The collection is coming out this month from Saqi Books in the UK and January 2021 in the US.

We read from:

“A Letter to Him,” from For Prayer and Revolution (1978)

“Cholera,” from Shrapnel and Ash (1949)“The Moon Tree,” from The Moon Tree (1968)

“Revolt Against the Sun,” from Night Lover (1947)

A few poems by al-Mala’ika online:

“Night Lover,” tr. Drumsta

Revolt Against the Sun,” tr. Drumsta

From “A Song for Mankind,” tr. Drumsta

The Train Passed By,” tr. Drumsta 

“New Year,” t. Rebecca Carol Johnson, on WWB

“Love Song for Words,” tr. Johnson, on WWB

You can see more about the book at