Dictionary of Midnight
by Abdulla Pashew
translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse
Dictionary of Midnight collects almost 50 years of poetry by Abdulla Pashew, the most influential Kurdish poet alive today. Pashew’s poems chart a personal cartography of exile, recounting the recent political history of Kurdistan and its struggle for independence. Poet-translator Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse worked with the poet to select and translate his most iconic poems, balancing well-known, politically engaged contemporary Kurdish classics like “12 Lessons for Children” with the concise love lyrics that have always punctuated his work.
When he gives readings in Kurdistan, Abdulla Pashew draws audiences in the thousands. In addition to his eight volumes of poetry, Pashew is a prolific translator, fluent in Russian and English, responsible for bringing Whitman and Pushkin to Kurdish readership. He holds a master’s degree in pedagogy and a doctorate in philology. Dictionary of Midnight is the first book-length selection of his poetry to appear in English
Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse is a poet, translator, and co-director of Kashkul, a research, translation, and arts collaborative. She has lived and worked in Iraq since 2011, during which time she has dedicated herself to bringing Kurdish poets to English-speaking audiences, including Kajal Ahmad’s Handful of Salt. Her poems, translations, and essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Sewanee Review, and World Literature Today, among others.
Cover design by Jaya Nicely
Cover art by Ismael Khayat