Amjad Nasser was born in al-Turra, Jordan, and worked as a journalist in both Beirut and Cyprus. A major force in contemporary Arab writing, he has published numerous collections of poetry, travel writing, and a novel. His collections of poetry in Arabic include Praise for Another Café (1979), Arrival of Strangers (1990), Life Like a Broken Narrative (2004), and Whenever He Saw a Sign (2005). A selection of his poetry, Shepherd of Solitude: Selected Poems (2009), was translated into English by the poet Khaled Mattawa. Nasser’s novel, first published in Arabic in 2011, appeared in English as Land of No Rain (2013), translated by Jonathan Wright. In the Guardian, a reviewer noted that the novel “parts company with the western forms that have dominated the Arab literary landscape. The acclaimed poet … is a clear descendant of Arab polymaths.”
In 2014, Nasser was invited to inaugurate New York University’s Gallatin Global Writers series; the Department of Homeland Security denied him entry into the United States, a ruling that prompted outcries from the PEN American Center, Split This Rock, and numerous other individuals and organizations. Nasser currently lives in London, where he is managing editor and cultural editor of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, a daily newspaper.
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