Edited by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar
Foreword by Carolyn Forché
W. W. Norton, New York 2008
560 pages.

This landmark anthology celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. Some poets, such as Bei Dao and Mahmoud Darwish, are acclaimed worldwide, but many more will be new to the reader. The collection includes 400 unique voices—political and apolitical, monastic and erotic—that represent a wider artistic movement that challenges thousand-year-old traditions, broadening our notion of contemporary literature.

Each section of the anthology—organized by theme rather than by national affiliation—is preceded by a personal essay from the editors that introduces the poetry and exhorts readers to examine their own identities in light of these powerful poems. In an age of violence and terrorism, often predicated by cultural ignorance, this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanity and devotion to the transformative power of art.

About the Editors:
Tina Chang, author of Half-Lit Houses, teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. New York-based poet, playwright, and writer Nathalie Handal performs and teaches worldwide. Ravi Shankar, founding editor of Drunken Boat and author of Instrumentality, lives in Connecticut.

 This extraordinary, library-in-one-volume: what a resource! Those to whom poetry is essential as the supreme use of language will find the work of many poets they have never before come to, and those readers who have limited themselves to prose have the opportunity to discover how the poet outreaches everything prose can illuminate in who and what we are, no matter where, on the map. Nine thematic groupings of the work bring us wonderfully, almost perilously close to ultimate experience in childhood, love, war, exile, the inextricable relations between politics and the personal, the tragic and the ironic, the wisdom in sorrow and humor, that only the most intense imagination can plumb. That of the poet. The realm of imagination is one. This anthology gives entry to its vast expression in the Middle East and Asia, including the changing sensibilities of poets in the ever-growing world of immigration. Assembled here not the Tower of Babel, but the astonishment and subtlety inherent in many languages and their experimental modes to expand the power of words. The introductions to each section offer perceptions engagingly, against which to place one's own readings. The editors have boldly envisaged and compiled a beautiful achievement for world literature.
Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Laureate
Language for a New Century is a symphonic sweep of beckoning cries, praises, prayers, curses, ruminations and revelations.  An ensemble rich with diverse voices, here the old and the new converge, and something wholly human and futuristic emerges”something that possesses a robust lyricism”shining its light, its illuminated certainty into the twenty-first century.  This marvelous anthology assembles a multitude of voices intent on a purposeful, deep singing.
Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize Winner,

This rich collection of poetry from Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, fills a huge gap in our cultural heritage.  It is a formidable achievement, and an important contribution to our education.
Howard Zinn, People's History of the United States

Read Language for a New Century as you would a field guide to the human condition in our time, a poetic survival manual. . . .  If, as Milosz wrote, posterity will read us in an attempt to comprehend what the twentieth century was like,†then this collection will be read to know the beginning of the twenty-first.
Carolyn Forché

(Arab World)

Nacera Mohammadi 
Habib Tengour

Qasim Haddad

Walid Bitar (Lebanese)
Carolyn Marie Souaid (Lebanese)

Andre Chedid (French)
Amal Dunqul
Ahmad Abd al-Muti Hijazi
Fatma Kandil
Muhammad Afifi Matar
Abd el-Monem Ramadan
Salah Abd al-Sabur
Hilmy Salem

Abdul Wahab al-Bayati 
Sargon Boulus
Hasab al-Shaikh Jaafar
Hatif Janabi
Kadhim Jihad
Nazik al-Mala'ika
Badr Shakir al-Sayab
Saadi Youssef 

Amjad Nasser

Saadyya Muffareh

Abbas Beydoun
Unsi al-Haj
Bassam Hajjar
Enayat Jaber
Yusef al-Khal
Venus Khoury-Ghata (French)
Issa Makhlouf
Wadih Sa'adeh
Nadia Tueni

Ashur Etwebi
Fatima Mahmoud

Muhammed al-Achaari
Muhammed Bennis
Jalal el-Hakmaoui
Wafaa Lamrani 
Abdellatif Laأ¢bi
Rachida Madani
Hassan Najmi
Abdallah Zrika

Abdullah Habib al-Maaini
Saif al-Rahbi

Taha Muhammad Ali
Mureed Barghouthy
Ahmad Dahbour
Mahmoud Darwish
Najwan Darwish
Salma Khadra Jayyusi
Waleed Khazindar
Zakariyya Muhammad
Samih al-Qasim
Taher Riyad
Fadwa Tuqan
Ghassan Zaqtan

Suad al-Kawari
Saudi Arabia
Fawziyya Abu Khaled
Muhammed Hasan Awwad

Muhammed al-Faituri
Al-Saddiq al-Raddi

Nazeeh Abu Afash
Mamdouh Adwan
Salim Barakat
Abed Ismael
Muhammad al-Maghut
Monzer Masri
Nizar Qabbani
Saniyya Saleh

Muhammad al-Ghuzzi
Amina Said (French)
Al-Munsif al-Wahaybi

United Arab Emirates
Nujoum al-Ghanim

United States
Elmaz Abinader (Lebanese)
Etel Adnan (Lebanese)
Hayan Charara (Lebanese)
Suheir Hammad (Palestinian)
Nathalie Handal (Palestinian)
Samuel Hazo (Lebanese)
Lawrence Joseph (Lebanese)
Mohja Kahf (Syrian) 
Lisa Suhair Majaj (Palestinian)
Khaled Mattawa (Libyan)
D.H. Melhem (Lebanese)
Naomi Shihab Nye (Palestinian)

Nabila Azzubair
Abd-Allah al-Baraduni
Abd al-Aziz al-Maqalih