In advance of the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, three participating authors will share the stage to read from their works and talk about the upcoming first ever Palestinian literature festival in North America.
Ibtisam Barakat is a bilingual Palestinian-American poet, artist, translator, educator and the author of the critically acclaimed memoirs, Tasting the Sky, a Palestinian Childhood (FSG/2007) and Balcony on the Moon, Coming of Age in Palestine (FSG/Macmillan 2016). The two memoirs combined won more than thirty awards and honors, including the International Reading Association's best book award; the Middle East Council's best book award, and the Arab-American Museum's best book award. Her Arabic language books include The Letter Ta' Escapes, which won the Euro-Mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation's best book award for children's books in Arabic. Her most recent books include The Jar that became a Galaxy, which was the title for Palestine's national reading campaign in 2019, and The Purple Girl, which is long-listed for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2020. Ibtisam's TEDx talk about her love for language can be viewed here.
Mahmoud Shukair is an award winning Palestinian writer born in Jabal al-Mukabbar, Jerusalem, in 1941. He writes short stories and novels for adults and teenagers. He is the author of forty-five books, six television series, and four plays. His stories have been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Chinese, Mongolian and Czech. He has occupied leadership positions within the Jordanian Writers' Union and the Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists. In 2011, he was awarded the Mahmoud Darwish Prize for Freedom of Expression.
Vivien Sansour is an artist and conservationist who uses image, sketch, film, soil, seeds, and plants to enliven old cultural tales in contemporary presentations and to advocate for the protection of biodiversity as a cultural and political act. As the founder of Palestine Heirloom Seed Library and the Traveling Kitchen project, she works with farmers to promote seed conservation and crop diversity. She is codirector with Riad Bahour of the feature film El Bizreh Um El Fay, which was awarded best project at RamallahDoc 2015 and will be released in 2020. She has presented her work as an artist at the Jerusalem Fund Gallery, Washington, DC; SALT Art Center, Istanbul; and the 2019 Venice Biennale. Born Jerusalem; lives in Bethlehem, Palestine and Los Angeles, USA.