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A Friend’s Kitchen


ISBN: 978-1-7398948-4-9

Paperback: 66 pages
Publisher: Poetry Translation Centre (World Poet Series), 2023
Language: Arabic & English

The poems in this World Poet Series book emerged in the aftermath of Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi’s arrival, when he was separated from his wife and children for nearly five years. During late, uncertain nights awake in a strange city, he would write brief, mystical, often stream-of-consciousness texts to post on Facebook, his primary means of communication with loved ones in Khartoum. These texts grew over time into A Friend’s Kitchen, a profound collection that deals with both the spiritual incomprehensibility and physical reality of exile. It is rendered into English by the translator Bryar Bajalan working with Al-Raddi’s friend and fellow poet Shook.

Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi was born in 1969 and grew up in Omdurman, Khartoum where he lived until forced into exile in 2012. Al-Raddi is the author of four volumes of poetry in Arabic starting with Songs of Solitude in 1996. He was a poet in residence at London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in 2012; his 2015 collection He Tells Tales of Meroe emerged from his time there, and went on to be shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. A Monkey at the Window was published in 2016 by the Poetry Translation Centre and Bloodaxe Books. He has a growing reputation as a poet of international significance and his poems have been published in the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and Poetry Review.

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