Conflicting Narratives: War, Trauma, and Memory in Iraqi Culture

Included in this review is an examination of the important Iraqi war poetry from the time of the Iraq-Iran war to the conflicts of the 21st century.

“In the latter half of the twentieth century some of the Arab world’s most important poets emerged from the country; names like Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, Nazik al-Mala’ika, and ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayati—among many others…. Yet far less has been written, particularly in English, about the ASJ-Cover-2015-Fallwriters and cultural figures from the final quarter of the last century until the present day….in December 2008 a conference entitled “Cultural Voices of a Fragmented Nation: War, Trauma and Remembrance in Contemporary Iraq” took place at the Phillips-Universität in Marburg, Germany. Much of <i>Conflicting Narratives: War, Trauma, and Memory in Iraqi Culture</i> grew from this conference….It is also perhaps the most comprehensive resource in English on Iraqi literature and other cultural productions from 1980 to 2010, a historically important period whose cultural legacy risks being overshadowed by the horrific events occurring in the country today. ”


Source: Conflicting Narratives: War, Trauma, and Memory in Iraqi Culture

originally published in the most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal

James Tate’s ‘Dome of the Hidden Pavilion’ – The New York Times

James Tate  27OROURKE-blog427(1943 – 2015) was an American poet.   his first book, “The Lost Pilot” (1967), for publication in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. “The Lost Pilot” deals with an event that Tate turned into a foundational myth: When he was 4 months old, his father crashed while flying a mission over Germany. The two never met; instead Tate wrote, in the title poem, imagining his father as a pilot orbiting the earth year after year:

This is a new book is called Dome of the Hidden Pavilion.  From the NYT review:   “A shocking number of the poems here are about war and battle. There’s “The Lost Army,” “The Mission,” “The Invasion,” “Explosive Device,” “The Battlefield,” “After the War,” “The Soldiers’ Rebellion” and more. In “Life’s Game,” a couple are sneaking around town when they hear gunshots. The narrator real­izes they are in a video game he has been playing: “ ‘Watch this,’ I said. I waved my hand above me and shots were fired. I stood / up and a bullet hit me right between the eyes. ‘I’m dead,’ I said. ‘Oh my God, you’re right,’ she said.” One of the more potent war ­poems, “The Psychiatric Unit,” deals with memories you can’t let go of: “I remembered the ashen faces of the children with their / one good arms reaching out to touch their dead mothers and fathers / curled up at their feet.” When the speaker returns to America, “they stuck me in / a psychiatric unit with hundreds of other soldiers”:”

Source: James Tate’s ‘Dome of the Hidden Pavilion’ – The New York Times

“Our fathers lied”: Rudyard Kipling as a war poet

My_Boy_Jack_John_KiplingThe privileged poets of the Great War are those who fought in it—Rosenberg, Owen, Sassoon. This is natural and human, but it is not fair. Kipling is one of the finest poets of the War, but he writes as a parent, a civilian, a survivor—all three of them compromised positions.

Source: “Our fathers lied”: Rudyard Kipling as a war poet | OUPblog

Contemporary Literature of the Forever Wars | An MLA 2016 Austin Roundtable

Source: Contemporary Literature of the Forever Wars | An MLA 2016 Austin Roundtable

Welcome to the website for a potential panel on the contemporary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at MLA 2016 in Austin. We will post more information soon.


Our invited scholars consider a series of complex, interrelated questions:

  • What are the appropriate critical, disciplinary, and theoretical terms for framing the recent boom in war fiction, memoir, poetry, and reportage?
  • What are the appropriate forms for addressing the questions of visibility, racialization, or gender disturbances?
  • To what extent do fiction, memoir and poetry connect the experience of individual combatants to national ideologies and agendas, to empathetic awareness of Iraqi and Afghan non-combatants and culture, or to direct or implied culpability for sinister aspects of contemporary war such as drone strikes, rendition, and enhanced interrogation techniques?
  • How have the wars been represented in national literatures other than the United States?
  • How have new technologies and doctrines of war—from insurgency and counterinsurgency to IEDs, drones, and torture—been rendered in literature?
  • How has the all-volunteer military changed the dynamic between citizen and soldier, insider and outsider?
  • How have the experiences, technologies, and personnel of war cross-pollinated within the borders of the United States?
  • How do we situate the current war corpus within the critical genealogies of war literature?

WikiAnswers – What are the names of famous poets in World War 2

WikiAnswers – What are the names of famous poets in World War 2: “Dannie Abse, Drummond Allison, Kenneth Allott, Brian Allwood, Kingsley Amis, John Arlott, John Atkins, W.H. Auden, Donald Bain, Peter Baker, George Baker, John Bayliss, Samuel Beckett, Martin Bell, William Bell, Sir John Betjeman, Laurence Binyon, Edmund Blunden, David Bourne, Jocelyn Brooke, George Bruce, Basil Bunting, John Buxton, Norman Cameron, Roy Campbell, Demetrios Capetanakis, Charles Causley, Stephen Coates, Alex Comfort, Robert Conquest, Herbert Corby, Timothy corsellis, Nancy Cunard, Ralph Nixon Currey, Idris Davies, Cecil Day Lewis, Paul Dehn, Patric Dickinson, Walter de la Mare, H.D., Keith Douglas, Ronald Duncan, Lawrence Durrell, Clifford Dyment, T.S. Eliot, William Empson, Gavin Ewart, James Farrar, Iain Fletcher, G.S. Fraser, Roy Fuller, Ronald Gant, Wrey Gardiner, Robert Garioch, David Gascoyne, John Gawsworth, W.S. Graham, Robert Greacen, Robert Graves, Geoffery Grigson, Bernard Gutteridge, Stephen haggard, Charles Hamblett, Michael Hamburger, John Heath-Stubbs, Hamish Henderson, James Findlay Hendry, Geoffrey Holloway, John Jarmain, David Jones, Sidney Keyes, James Kirkup, Philip Larkin, Laurie Lee, John Lehmann, Denise Levertov, Alun Lewis, Maurice Lindsay, Emanuel Litvinoff, Christopher Logue, Herbert Lomas, Edward Lowbury, George MacBeth, Norman MacCaig, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, Louis MacNeice, Charles Madge, H.B. Mallalieu, John Manifold, Alfred Marnau, John Masefield, Ronald Mathias, Christopher Middleton, A.A. Milne, James Monahan, William Montgomerie, Nicholas Moore, Edwin Morgan, Edwin Muir, Norman Nicholson, Leslie Norris, Kathleen Nott, Mervyn Peake, Ruth Pitter, William Plomer, Hugh Popham, Roy Porter, Paul Potts, Ezra Pound, Frank Templeton Prince, John Pudney, David Raikes, Kathleen Raine, Arnold Rattenbury, Sir Herbert Read, Alistair Reid, Keidrych Rhys, Edgell Rickword, Anne Ridler, Lynette Roberts, Micheal Roberts, W.R. Rodgers, Alan Rook, Alan Ross, J.M. Russell, Anthony Rye, Vita Sackville-West, Sagittarius, Derek Stanley Savage, Vernon Scannell, Francis Scarfe, Alexander Scott, Tom Scott, Edith Joy Scovell, George Scurfield, Howard Sergeant, Edward Shanks, John Short, C.H. Sisson, Dame Edith Sitwell, Montagu Slater, Stevie Smith, Sydney Goodsir Smith, Muriel Spark, Bernard Spencer, Richard Spender, Sir Stephen Spender, Derek Stanford, Gervase Stewart, Patience Strong, Hal Summers, Julian Symons, Tambimuttu M.J, Dylan Thomas, Ronald Stuart Thomas, Frank Thompson, Terence Tiller, Ruthven Todd, Henry Treece, John Waller, Vernon Watkins, Victor West, Johnathan Wilson, George woodcock, David Wright, Peter Yates, and Douglas Young”

Amichai: the Tolerant Irony of Israel’s National Poet – Tablet Magazine

Source: Amichai: the Tolerant Irony of Israel’s National Poet – Tablet Magazine

If you were to ask who was the national poet of the State of Israel since 1948, the inevitable answer would be Amichai. At some point in his development, the man who had once been Ludwig Pfeuffer decided that he would live his life in Israel—mainly in Jerusalem—and that he would write his works in Hebrew.


Official website of composer Iain Bell | OPERA

Welsh National Opera has announced that WNO have commissioned Iain Bell to compose an operatic adaptation of David Jones’ World War One epic poem ‘In Parenthesis’ to mark both the company’s 70th anniversary and the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. ‘In Parenthesis’ will be scored for the full forces of the WNO orchestra and chorus and will receive its world premiere in Cardiff in 2016 with two further performances at the Royal Opera House.

Source: Official website of composer Iain Bell | OPERA