Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Review: Sandy Tolan’s ‘Children of the Stone’

Electronic Intifada, 14th August 2015 To be completely honest, I was expecting this book to be pretty bad. And I have to admit that my preconceptions were comprehensively challenged. As … Continue reading

September 10, 2015 · 1 Comment

John Glenday, Don Paterson and Isabel Rogers on editing poetry

Over on Isabel Rogers’ blog there is a lovely conversation between the wonderful poet John Glenday and poet-editor Don Paterson. (Disclaimer: I was a fan of Glenday’s writing before he … Continue reading

June 16, 2014 · 1 Comment

New review: ‘Rhetorics of Belonging’

Electronic Intifada, 28th March 2014 When it is read in universities or for the pages of publications such as The New York Review of Books or literary supplements of London … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

Barbara Kingsolver at the South Bank

American novelist and biologist Barbara Kingsolver has a special place in my life, and especially in the story of my marriage, and that alone makes her dear to me. That … Continue reading

June 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

New article: Nihad Sirees interviewed

The Arab Review, 28th May 2013 Sitting in the foyer of a London hotel, Sirees looks tired and a little dazed, but is cheerfully talkative.“The news every day affects me … Continue reading

May 28, 2013 · Leave a comment


I shall probably cringe with shame and delete this post later on, but this evening I’m in a wistful, nostalgic kind of mood. In the middle of having another clear-out … Continue reading

May 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

Manchester/climate change short story competition

Manchester Climate Monthly is running a short story competition on the theme of “Manchester in a warmer world” (that’s Manchester, Britain, not some American interloper). You don’t have to live … Continue reading

May 10, 2013 · 3 Comments

Mai Ghoussoub on language and its directions

When you read in opposite directions you’re not impermeable to other readings… It was in my Lycee Francais de Beirut that the Crusaders were either saints or cruel colonisers, depending … Continue reading

April 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

Elias Khoury on memory, war and revolution

The first thing I discovered is that we live in an oral society that doesn’t write things down… my fear has been that our present and our past were subject … Continue reading

April 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Theft at the Palestine Writing Workshop – appeal for donations

This very sad email just came through from the Palestine Writing Workshop: Dear Friends, As many of you have heard, our building in Birzeit was broken into last Sunday night … Continue reading

February 17, 2013 · 1 Comment

Seeing the Alhambra

The Alhambra (al-Qasr al-Hamra) in Granada is one of the most stunning buildings in the world. Its late-Islamic Andalucian decorations are breathtaking in their intricacy and delicacy, and the newly-renovated … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

New article: Adania Shibli's 'We Are All Equally Far From Love' reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 3rd October 2012 What makes this near-continuous litany of depression and melancholy bearable and sharpens its impact, are the occasional flashes of beauty which punctuate the grimness. One … Continue reading

October 3, 2012 · Leave a comment

Palestine travel writing competition

As a result of my work on the Bradt Guide to Palestine, I’ve been privileged to be asked to judge a travel writing competition on Palestine. The competition is being … Continue reading

September 5, 2012 · Leave a comment

Thinking about how to write on violence

I’ve been a having a small ‘discussion’ recently with a publication for which I have written on and off for several years, on the subject of some wording they changed … Continue reading

July 24, 2012 · 2 Comments

Writing: job vs lifestyle

There is an excellent article here from Pam Mandel at Nerd’s Eye View. It should be required reading for anyone with aspirations to be any kind of writer, not just … Continue reading

May 30, 2011 · Leave a comment

Gaza at Readings

This evening, I faced what I sincerely hope will be my last Gaza: Beneath the Bombs book event in Australia. Those in Sydney and Newcastle were fairly gentle affairs, with … Continue reading

May 17, 2011 · 3 Comments