Nathalie Handal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nathalie Handal
NationalityFrench, American
Alma materBennington College, University of London
Notable worksLove and Strange Horses, Poet in Andalucía, The Republics, Life in a Country Album
Notable awardsLannan Foundation Fellow, Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing

Nathalie Handal (Arabic: نتالي حنظل) is an American poet, writer and educator, described as a “contemporary Orpheus.” A New Yorker of Mediterranean roots, she has published seven prize-winning collections, including Life in a Country Album. She is praised for her “diverse, and innovative body of work.” [1] [2][3][4][5]


Nathalie Handal is a French-American poet and writer born in Haiti to a family from Bethlehem.[1][6][7][8] She has lived in France, the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Arab world. After earning a MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College, Vermont and a MPhil in English and Drama at the University of London, Handal began writing and translating global literature in the 1990s.[9][10] She currently resides in New York City, Rome and Paris[3][11] and teaches at New York University.[3][8][11][12]

Literary career[edit]

Handal with Roddy Doyle and Andrew O'Hagan at PalFest 2008 in Bethlehem.

Handal has authored books of poetry, plays, essays, and has edited two anthologies and has been involved as a writer, director, or producer in several theatrical or film productions. Her work has been translated into over fifteen languages. She is a Lannan Foundation Fellow, Pen International Croatia Fellow, Centro Andaluz de las Letras Fellow, Fondazione di Venezia Fellow, recipient of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature 2011, the AE Ventures Fellowship, an Honored Finalist for the 2009 Gift of Freedom Award, and was shortlisted for New London Writers Awards and The Arts Council of England Writers Awards. Her work has appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Irish Times, World Literature Today, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry New Zealand, Guernica Magazine, and The Nation.

Her book The Lives of Rain was shortlisted for the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize[13] and received the Menada Literary Award. Love and Strange Horses won the 2011 Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY Award), and was an Honorable Mention at the San Francisco Book Festival and the New England Book Festival. The flash collection The Republics was called “one of the most inventive books by one of today’s most diverse writers” and is winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing and the Arab American Book Award. And Life in a Country Album is winner of the Palestine Book Award and a Foreword Indies Book Award finalist.

Handal has edited the anthology The Poetry of Arab Women, which introduced Arab women poets to a wider audience in the West. It was an Academy of American Poets bestseller, named one of the top 10 Feminist Books by The Guardian, and it won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She co-edited along with Tina Chang and Ravi Shankar the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond. She has lectured or been a Visiting Writer at La Sorbonne in Paris, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, John Cabot in Rome, The American University in Beirut, Picador Guest Professor at Leipzig University, Germany, and professor at Columbia University[14] and part of the Low-Residency MFA faculty at Sierra Nevada University.[15] Handal is currently a professor at New York University and a Visiting Writer at The American University in Rome.

She writes the literary travel column, "The City and the Writer," for Words Without Borders magazines,[16] and "Eat: Everywhere a Tale," for Popula.[17]


  • The Neverfield Poem (1999)[18]
  • The Lives of Rain (2005)[18]
  • Love and Strange Horses (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)
  • Poet in Andalucía (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012)[citation needed]
  • The Invisible Star/La estrella invisible (Valparaíso Ediciones, 2014)
  • The Republics (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
  • Life in a Country Album (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019)
  • Volo (Diode Editions, chapbook forthcoming 2022)
Poetry / Foreign Publications
  • Las horas suspendidas: poemas escogidos (Valparaíso Ediciones, 2012)
  • Poeta en Andalucía (Visor, España, 2013)
  • La estrella invisible (Valparaíso Ediciones, 2014)
  • Riflessi, Artist Book, Illustrazioni di Lucio Schiavo (Damocle Edizioni,Venezia, 2016)
  • Pjesnik u Andaluziji (Druga prica, Zagreb, 2017)
  • التّلحمية Al-Talhamiyah (Jordan, 2017)
  • Canto Mediterraneo (Ronzani Editore, Italia, 2018)
  • Le vite della pioggia (Iacobelli Editore, Roma, Italia, 2018)
  • Poet in Andalucia - Arabic (Takween, Damascus, 2019)
  • Life in A Country Album - UK (flipped eye, United Kingdom 2020)
  • Selected Poems: 2005-2019 (Fawasel Publishing House, Syria, 2022)
  • The Poetry of Arab Women (2001, ed. by Handal)[18]
  • Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008, ed. by Handal, Tina Chang and Ravi Shankar)[18]
Prose (creative nonfiction, fiction)
Interviews and Reviews
  • "Mahmoud Darwish: Palestine's Poet of Exile", The Progressive, May 2002[27]
  • "Shades of a Bridge's Breath", This bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation, eds. Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Analouise Keating (Routledge, 2002). ISBN 0-415-93682-9
  • "Sisterhood of Hope", interview with Zainab Salbi, Saudi Aramco World, September/October 2010[28]
  • "We Are All Going to Die", interview with Edwidge Dandicat, Guernica Magazine, January 2011[29]
  • "The Other Face of Silence", interview with Elia Suleiman, Guernica Magazine, May 2011[30]
  • "Not Quite Invisible", Nathalie Handal interviews Mark Strand, Guernica Magazine, April 2012[31]
  • "Against the Line", interview with Jonathan Galassi, Guernica Magazine, June 2012[32]
  • “Elisa Biagini: A World Reinvented Through Poetry,” Guernica Magazine, February 7, 2014[33]
  • “Kareem James Abu-Zeid: A Search for Justice and Expansive Identities," Guernica Magazine, August 2014[34]
  • “Isabella Hammad's The Parisian", Electric Literature, May 7, 2019[35]
  • “Introduction to Edwidge Danticat", 92Y, September 2019[36]


  1. ^ a b Poetry Foundation - Nathalie Handal
  2. ^ "The Question of Belonging (Handal) – the American Library in Paris".
  3. ^ a b c "Ralph Gardner: Nathalie Handal, a Queens Poet Without Borders". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  4. ^ "Nathalie Handal: Poet and playwright". Institute for Middle East Understanding. Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  5. ^ "Nathalie Handal". Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  6. ^ "Miracles of the Word" (PDF). M&G Friday. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  7. ^ "Nathalie Handal: Haiti". Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  8. ^ a b "Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren: Building an Architecture for the Wanderer: A Conversation with Nathalie Handal". World Literature Today. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  9. ^ Shalal-Esa, Andrea (2006-12-20). "Arab-American writer is ambassador for Middle East". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  10. ^ Interview with Nathalie Handal Archived August 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "Muslim Women: Past and Present - Nathalie Handal". 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  12. ^ New York University. "New York University". Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  13. ^ a b "PEN American Center - Nathalie Handal". PEN American Center. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  14. ^ Columbia University. "Columbia University". Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  15. ^ Sierra Nevada College. "Sierra Nevada University". Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  16. ^ Handal, Nathalie (2010-09-22). "New Blog Series: Nathalie Handal's 'The City and the Writer'". Words Without Borders. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  17. ^ Handal, Nathalie (2018-07-19). "Eat: Everywhere a Tale". Popula. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Nathalie Handal". Kennedy Center. Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
  19. ^ a b c "Nathalie Handal: Theatre and Film". Nathalie Handal. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  20. ^ Hill, Holly (2009). "Middle Eastern American Theatre: History, Playwrights and Plays". Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  21. ^ "Writers". The Alternative Theatre Company Ltd (The Bush Theatre). Archived from the original on 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  22. ^ "Sixty-Six Books". The Alternative Theatre Company Ltd (The Bush Theatre). Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  23. ^ "Nathalie Handal: Men in Verse in response to 2 John". The Alternative Theatre Company Ltd (The Bush Theatre). Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  24. ^ "The Night and Nightingale". Guernica Magazine. March 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  25. ^ "My East in Venice". Guernica Magazine. April 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  26. ^ "After Kaddish". Guernica Magazine. September 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  27. ^ Handal, Nathalie (May 2002). "Mahmoud Darwish: Palestine's Poet of Exile". The Progressive. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  28. ^ "Sisterhood of Hope". Saudi Aramco World. Aramco Services Company. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  29. ^ "We Are All Going to Die". Guernica Magazine. January 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  30. ^ "The Other Face of Silence". Guernica Magazine. May 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
  31. ^ Virtua Design (15 April 2012). "Not Quite Invisible , Nathalie Handal Interviews Mark Strand - Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics". Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  32. ^ "Against the Line". Guernica Magazine. June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  33. ^ "Elisa Biagini: A World Reinvented Through Poetry". Guernica Magazine. February 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  34. ^ "Kareem James Abu-Zeid: A Search for Justice and Expansive Identities". Guernica Magazine. August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  35. ^ "The Parisian" Weaves Family Stories and Palestinian History Into a Debut Novel". May 7, 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  36. ^ "Edwidge Danticat and Ann Patchett Reading". September 25, 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-25.

External links[edit]