Nadia Tueni (1935-1983) was a Lebanese Francophone poet who published numerous volumes of poetry in French. She received several prominent awards for her work including the Order of La Pléiade and the Prix Said Akl.

Throughout her writing career, Tueni remained fiercely independent and unattached to fashionable schools of thought. Her fondness for her native land is intertwined with her need to reflect upon the realities and conditions that surrounded her. The operations at work in her poetry–from the varied linguistic play to the jarring juxtapositions, from the ambiguity of certain passages to the playful manipulations of syntax–are intensely original and delightfully strange. Scenes from her own childhood accompany imagery drawn from Christian mythology and rituals, while tales of lovers scorned are juxtaposed with those of gods abandoned. Revelatory descriptions of springs, mountains and street-scenes accompany metaphysical contemplations, themselves masked by layers of striking imagery. Forceful and meditative, two books that present internal and emotional landscapes as well as a sensual if fragmented portrait of her urban and natural surroundings.

–Amir Parsa, Translator


Photo from Jesus & Mary School in Lebanon website

Francophone Arab poet, Nadia Tueni is known for her poetry on the Civil War in Lebanon.Is a collection of a poets’ work complete without her earlier work? This is the first time these two early poetry books have been translated into English. In it she explores the heart and the process of becoming. UpSet Press brings back her little known early work. Here are the poems of a young woman just as she is developing her own voice.

Poetry of body, of space, of identity, and of growth… this is an essential read for scholars, poets, and poetry lovers.

Zephyr, Amazon Review

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