The Arab Apocalypse

Etel Adnan

Poetry
ISBN: 978-0-942996-60-9 • $20.00 • 82 pp.
2012 (Surhkamp Verlag, Germany)
2012 (Turkey)
2007 (3rd edition, with a forward by Jalal Toufic)
1989 (1st edition)
Translated from the French by the author

Purchase from Small Press Distribution


Excerpts: The Arab Apocalypse

Forward: Jalal Toufic

Audio Recording: Telegraph Books, February 2, 2009

Reviews: Thom Donovan for the Poetry Foundation
Douglas A. Powell for Poetry Flash


This book, a master work of the dislocations and radiant outcries of the Arab World, reaffirms Etel Adnan as one of the foremost poets.
—Jack Hirschman

It has a power and intensity that few poets today can muster—only Allen Ginsberg’s Howl comes to mind.
—Alice Molloy, Mama Bears

The power of Adnan’s language and imagery reminds us that she is indeed one of the most significant post-modern poets in contemporary Arab culture.
—Kamal Boullatta, Merip Report

The Arab Apocalypse is, to date, Adnan’s most triumphant battle with the exactness of words.
—Douglas Powell, Poetry Flash

The poem invokes a mythic past of Gilgamesh, Tammouz, and Ishtar…to presage a present that resists narration, The Arab Apocalypse contests an uncritical reflection on the immediate historical past.
—Barbara Harlow, American Book Review


Etel Adnan is an Arab-American poet and writer born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She studied at the Sorbonne in France, U.C. Berkeley, and Harvard and taught Philosophy at Dominican College in San Rafael, California. She is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, essays, and cultural writings. She is a recipient of a 2010 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award. She divides her time between Sausalito, California; Paris; and Beirut.