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  1. PUBLICATION-IN-RESIDENCE: Makhzin
    February 1st-May 31th, 2017

    Wendy's Subway is pleased to announce the second in a series of one to two month-long residencies designed to host artists, publishers, special collections, and libraries. In February and March (extended through May!), Wendy's Subway will host Makhzin, in collaboration with founding editor, Mirene Arsanios. 

    For Makhzin’s residency at Wendy’s Subway, the writers Iman Mersal, Mona Kareem, Yasmine El Rashidi, and Marwa Helal will select and introduce 10 books formative to their writing. The selection will serve as a starting point to discuss the voices, narratives, and identifications available to them as female writers writing in Arabic and/or English.

    Although personal and specific to each writer, the selected books will also point to larger and more structural publishing histories: when and where were the books published? Were they translated? Reprinted? By compiling research around these questions, Makhzin will map ways in which the personal and structural intersect. The information gathered will be presented in a wall map at Wendy’s Subway.

    Writing and translation workshops will be programmed around the book selections. In parallel to the public programming, Makhzin and Wendy’s Subway will produce a publication in collaboration with designer and artist Gerardo Madera.

    About Makhzin
    Launched in 2014 as part of 98weeks Research Project’s “On Publications,” Makhzin is a yearly, bilingual English and Arabic magazine for fiction, prose, poetry, essays, and occasional translations. In addition, Makhzin publishes long-form interviews between writers, artists, and thinkers every month. Makzhin’s yearly issues are also available in print. More online here.

    About Mirene Arsanios
    Mirene Arsanios is the author of The City Outside the Sentence (Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, 2015). Her writings have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Rumpus, The Animated Reader, and The Outpost, among others. She is the co-founder of the research collective 98weeks in Beirut and the founding editor of the bilingual magazine, Makhzin. She holds an MFA in Writing from Bard College and an MA in Art Theory from Goldsmiths College. She currently lives in New York City where she was a 2016 LMCC Workspace resident.

    About Gerardo Madera
    Gerardo Madera is a graphic designer and self-publisher. He is an adjunct professor of design in SUNY Purchase’s New Media program.

  2. Public Programs

    Poets Translating Poets: Sargon Boulus  
    Workshop led by Mona Kareem
    Friday, February 17th, 6:30-8:30pm
    Limited capacity: 12 people
    Free, donation suggested to support public programs
    Register here.

    Almost all modernizers of Arabic poetry were translators. al-Sayyab translated T.S. Eliot, Saadi Yousif translated Cavafy, Whitman, and Lorca, and Adonis translated Bonnefoy and Georges Schéhadé. Translation was not a mere "bridge" between cultures but an act of writing other literatures within; utilizing their ventures for greater experiment. One influential figure of the poet-translator would be the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944-2007) who spent most of his lifetime in exile between Beirut, San Francisco, and Berlin. An anthology of Sargon's Arabic translations is soon to be published by Dar Al-Jamal bringing together texts by 130 poets!

    The practice of poetry and translation are inseparable for Sargon; they together actualize his political and literary being. When revolutionary nationalisms occupied Arabic poetry, he gifts us the anti-nationalist poems of the Beat Generation. When the Anti-Vietnam war movement ascends, he translates Ho Chi Minh and an anthology of Vietnamese poets. When Etel Adnan is exiled again in another language, he brings her home through a translation of In the Light and the Darkness of the Self and of the Other.

    In this workshop, we will visit the poetry of Sargon Boulus, both in Arabic and English, to frame a larger discussion on the figure of the poet-translator: why and how Arabic poets translate? what are the methods, negotiations, and aesthetics present in Sargon's American translations? how does translating poetry help locate exiled writers within diasporic Arabic literature and, at the same time, within an American literature (beyond language)? 

    Mona Kareem is a poet-writer-translator based in New York. She is the author of three poetry collections, some of which were translated into French, English, Spanish, Dutch, German, Farsi, Italian and Kurdish. Her published translations include an Arabic-English edition of Ashraf Fayadh's Instructions Within and an Arabic selection of Alejandra Pizarnik's poems. She is a doctoral candidate in the Comparative Literature program at Binghamton University, working on a critique of the Arab feminist novel. She teaches writing classes while freelancing for a number of Arabic publications. 


  3. Vernacular as Resistance
    Workshop led by Marwa Helal
    Thursday, February 23, 6:30-8:30pm
    Limited capacity: 12 people
    Free, donation suggested to support public programs
    Register here.

    Vernacular as Resistance, led by Marwa Helal, is the second workshop organized as part of Makhzin's residency at Wendy's Subway. What is vernacular literature? What is its role in dismantling the oppressor’s language and assumptions? What happens to power when the oppressor co-opts the vernacular of the oppressed? And why would the oppressor want to co-opt the oppressed’s vernacular? Could it be becoz our power is embedded, encoded in our vernacular? We will explore these questions and read texts that challenge imposed ideas of hierarchy. Workshop discussion will be centered around Rotten English ed. Dohra Ahmed, Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen, Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and works by Basquiat, Mutu and Ra.

    Reading materials for the workshop will be shared digitally ahead of time. 
     
    Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. Her work appears in Apogee, Hyperallergic, the Offing, Poets & Writers, the Recluse, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She is the author of Invasive species (Nightboat Books 2019) and the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest. Helal has been awarded fellowships from Poets House (2017), Brooklyn Poets (2016) and Cave Canem (2016). Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University. @marwahelal on Twitter or www.marshelal.com.