• Chaos, Crossing - Olivia Elias

    Chaos, Crossing - Olivia Elias

    In her English-language debut, acclaimed French-language poet of the Palestinian diaspora Olivia Elias probes deeply into the upheavals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

    Chaos, Crossing—translated by award-winning translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid—is a powerful chronicle of uprootedness, of times marked by inequality, injustice, and disconnection. These poems seek the calm at the center of the storm, the still point amidst the chaos.



    Poet of the Palestinian diaspora, born in Haifa in 1944, OLIVIA ELIAS writes in French. She lived until she was 16 years old in Lebanon where her family took refuge in 1948, then in Montréal-Canada, before moving to France. Her third and most recent collection, Chaos, Traversée, appeared in 2019. Characterized by terse, laconic language and strong rhythms, her poetry shows a deep sensitivity to the Palestinian cause, the plight of refugees and human suffering in general. Her work, translated into English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, has been published in numerous journals and in anthologies.

    KAREEM JAMES ABU-ZEID is a translator of writers from across the Arab world, including Najwan Darwish (Palestine), Adonis (Syria), Rabee Jaber (Lebanon), and Dunya Mikhail (Iraq). He has received an NEA translation grant, PEN Center USA's Translation Award, a Fulbright Fellowship (Germany), and a CASA Fellowship (Egypt), among other honors. He is also the author of The Poetics of Adonis and Yves Bonnefoy: Poetry as Spiritual Practice.