Cover image for Grape leaves : a century of Arab-American poetry
Grape leaves : a century of Arab-American poetry
Orfalea, Gregory, 1949-
Publication Information:
New York : Interlink Books, 1988.

Physical Description:
xxix, 300 pages : portraits ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published by the University of Utah Press, 1988.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS591.A7 G7 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Arab-American poetry is an especially rich, people-involved, passionate literature that has been spawned, at least until recently, in isolation from the American mainstream. This anthology, reflects the current renaissance in the literature of what may be the latest ethnic community to assert itself.

Twenty poets are represented in this collection, fifteen of them living, five of them women. They start with Ameen Rihani and Kahlil Gibran and include celebrated contemporaries who write in Arabic or English or both.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This anthology of 20 Arab American poets (five of them women) is the revised edition of a 1988 hardcover, with a new introduction, updated biographies, and a few new poems. Although the headnotes could have used more updating, the volume is a useful presentation of poets with Arab American "Bicultural" heritage. (All poems are in English.) The superstar is the legendary Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), born in a Lebanese mountain village and raised in Boston, one of the world's most famous modern poets. With an astonishing 9.5 million copies in print, Gibran's The Prophet (published in 1923) remains Random House's "all-time bestseller." For those who know only The Prophet's "sacred incantation," it's good to have available selections from other diverse Arab American voices, from Ameen Rihani (1876-1940) to Elmaz Abinader (b. 1954). Many of these "Arab" poets seem thoroughly "American": Samuel Hazo, whose parents were Assyrian-Lebanese, was Pittsburgh's Man of the Year in the Arts for 1984. "Arab-American" in actuality defines those whose roots are multifaith, and, far from romantic exile, the spirit of these poems is realistic and self-searching. (The "grape leaves" of the title symbolize fertility and health.) With a complex blend of ethnicity, these poets seek to build bridges "between worlds" and forge new kinds of identity. [See also Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing, reviewed on p. 102.--Ed.]--Frank Allen, Northampton Community Coll., Tannersville, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.