A Conversation with Saudi poet Nimah Nawwab

After school on Friday evening, my mum took me to a poetry event where Nimah Nawwab, a famous poet from Saudi Arabia was performing.  Saleha Begum, a local poet from Birmingham also read her poems from her new book called Ruptures and Fragments.

Before everyone arrived, I met Nimah and interviewed her about her new book, Canvas of the Soul. Her first book, Unfurling was a best seller.  She told me that her the poems in Canvas of the Soul are short and highly spiritual and very different to those in her first book, which were political and social.

Nimah explained that Saudi Arabia has has a rich history of poetry.  In ancient times, poetry was popular and people from different parts of the world would visit and have poetry competitions.  The winning poems would be written in gold and hung on the Kabbah.  She says poetry in Saudi Arabia is still popular and used at weddings and traditional ceremonies.

Nimah also gave me a long list of her favourite poets from all over the world from past and present. Some of these included, Jalaludin Rumi, Rabia Basri, as well as Japanese and African American poets.

It was really interesting and fun to interview Nimah Nawwab!

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