May 30

Walls at the SHIFT festival

  I am very excited. The Troika Collective, a BC-based theatre company, has adapted my book Walls: Travels Along the Barricades into a lobby installation/performance for the SHIFT Festival 10. Imagining Walls “on stage” feels like the closing of the circle. My book aimed to render the physicality of the world’s border walls into text. Now this […]

May 18

Palestinian Reading List #5: “The Passport”

An excerpt from a very funny short story called “The Passport” by author Ala Hlehel. In the story, a Palestinian author living in Israel desperately tries to retrieve his passport in time for a publicity trip to London. As he scrambles to find a way into the closed Ministry office, his mother calls:   … […]

February 07

Palestinian Reading List #4: “To Describe an Almond Blossom”

One of Mahmoud Darwish’s last poems, and a new favourite of mine. This translation, by Mohammad Shaheen, appears in Almond Blossoms and Beyond published by Interlink Books (2009).   To Describe an Almond Blossom   To describe an almond blossom no encyclopedia of flowers In any help to me, no dictionary. Words carry me off […]

“Illegal” in Arizona: a mother’s story

During the research for Walls: Travels Along the Barricades I had the opportunity to meet several migrants and would-be migrants along Arizona’s border with Mexico. One of the most affecting stories I heard came from a mother named Patricia who I met in Tucson. In advance of the Trump presidency, and all it may mean […]

September 13

Palestinian Reading List #3: “Is 53 seconds long enough to gather my soul?”

I met the young and wonderful Rana Mourtaja during my trip to Gaza last year. She writes short stories mostly, but composed this essay during the 2014’s summer war on Gaza. During the war, Israeli military planes dropped small and often non-explosive devices onto rooftops to warn residents that the building was about to be […]

July 08

Palestinian Reading List #2: The Drone Eats With Me

This week marks the second anniversary of beginning of the 2014 war on Gaza. In his incredible memoir of that war, titled The Drone Eats With Me: Diaries From a City Under Fire, author Atef Abu Saif writes about how the media reduced the victims into mere statistics. As a writer tasked with writing about […]

July 04

Wrestling Erica

I had the great pleasure of spending some time getting to know Olympic wrestler Erica Wiebe – both on and off the mat. I suspect everyone in Canada will be hearing a lot more about Erica in the weeks to come. I wish all my stories were as enjoyable to work on as this one. […]