This July, Palette’s Poetry We Admire column looks a little different. Given the ongoing occupation of Palestine, it’s urgent that we continue to pay attention to and elevate Palestinian voices, demands, and dreams of liberation. Below you’ll find a toolkit our team has found useful in learning to practice solidarity in action, as well as poets whose work demands that we as readers work—to widen the scope of our imaginations, and to insist on a future free of settler colonialism. We hope you join us in centering Palestine and Palestinian poets, and that you benefit from these resources as much as we have.
—The Palette Team
Freedom within Reach: Palestine Action Toolkit
from the Palestinian Feminist Collective
We found this action toolkit to be accessible, wide in scope, and remarkably thorough. Here, you’ll find action items, tips for discussing Palestine in the workplace, a rundown of BDS, relevant scholars and additional resources, and more. Pages 7-9 in particular offer an extensive collection of further reading, news & social media, etc… that contextualize the Palestinian cause and debunk common myths and misconceptions.
An (incomplete) list of places to donate:
My country is a song,
and as soon as it ends, I go back
to being a refugee.
from "A Country Called Song"
by Najwan Darwish
Najwan Darwish is a poet from Jerusalem, Palestine. He has co-founded and directed several cultural and artistic projects throughout the Arab world and served as the literary advisor to the Palestine Festival of Literature. On his website are free downloads of some of his collections, including “The Seats of Hope are Always Reserved” where this poem appears.
I might as well read:
a severed realm
of artifacts, a museum
filled with too much
by Tariq Luthun in Voicemail Poems
This poem of Tariq Luthun’s, which first appeared in Voicemail Poems in 2016, does a breathtaking job of collapsing time, national identity, and cultural responsibility — lines like “The curse of the diaspora is to / become a scholar,” speak to the constant weight of preservation that must be part of any and all decolonizing efforts.
My favorite house is my
mother. The heart
muffled like a speaker.
There are no gardens
here. Only another year.
from "Interactive :: House Saints"
by Hala Alyan in POETRY
This poem reminds us of Layli Long Soldier’s “Obligations” poem series, such as “Obligations 2” in the way it almost seeks to transfer agency off of the page, away from the poem itself, and into the hands of the reader. With that agency comes an immense responsibility — the reader becomes a fundamental part not only of how the poem is understood, but also how possible the poem is given permission to be; the innovation does more than invite participation; the poem’s form compels it.
The people are not quite dirt not quite map made sovereign, the people are something that happens—a third event
by Zaina Alsous in The Poetry Project
We really enjoyed reading Zaina Alsous’ “Third,” a prose poem that troubles normative notions of sovereignty, citizenship, and belonging. We also recommend “Speculative History,” which reads almost like micro-fiction, in a very small space succeeding in using our own lived-in reality to suggest other possibilities, free of some of the horrors of the 20th and 21st centuries.