Now that you have read and loved TASTING THE SKY, A Palestinian Childhood
IBTISAM BARAKAT: Award-winning, Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist and educator. Ibtisam Barakat (pronunciation) (Arabic spelling: ابتسام بركات ) was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in Ramallah, Palestine.
She came to the US for an internship at The Nation magazine in New York City.
She holds two Masters degrees, one in journalism and one in Human Development with focus on creative writing's effects on self-understanding.
She has taught Language Ethics at Stephens College. She is a life-writing coach (if you have read her books about her life story, and want to write your own life story, she can guide you through the process).
She is the founder of Write Your Life seminars for groups and individuals who want to turn life stories into literature and books.
Ibtisam authors in both English and Arabic. Her work centers on healing social injustices, especially in the lives of young people. Her writings exist in numerous translations.
1) The Lilac Girl, الفتاة الليلكية 2019, winner of the SZBA 2020
Publisher: Tamer Institute, Ramallah, Palestine
Translated into German, Greek, Farsi.
English and French are forthcoming in 2023.
2) The Jar that Become a Galaxy, الجرة التي صارت مجرة title of the Palestine National Reading Campaign 2019
(3) TASTING THE SKY, A Palestinian Childhood.
(FSG, 2007) Winner of five best book awards among numerous honors. Hardcover, paperback (2016),Scholstic Edition (2018), e-book and version for the visual special needs.
Available in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Farsi.
(4) BALCONY ON THE MOON, Coming of Age in Palestine
(FSG/Macmillan, October 2016.) Winner of numerous awards and honors. Balcony on the Moon continues the story of Tasting the Sky.
(5) THE LETTER TA' ESCAPES التاء المربوطة تطير
(Arabic book: TAMER INSTITUTE, PALESTINE 2011)
winner of the Euro-mediterranean Anna Lindh Foundation best book award.
(6) A PRESENT FOR THE LETTER HAMZAH هدية للهمزة
(Arabic book for children, written and illustrated by Ibtisam Barakat: Publisher: UAE NATIONAL LIBRARY 2014)
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PUBLICATIONS OTHER THAN BOOKS INCLUDE:
Poems, essays, short stories of fiction and non-fiction, book reviews, op-eds, and numerous interviews. Ibtisam Barakat's writings appeared in magazines such as World Literature Today; The Nation magazine; Wasafiri of International Literature, Weekly Reader; Book Bird, the journal of the International Board on Books for Young Readers; Gilcrease Journal; The Washington Post, the Progressive Media Project; Mizna Magazine, and in anthologies published by A. Knopf; Scholastic; Simon and Schuster; Random House and others.
Working in both English and Arabic, and with young people as well as adults, Ibtisam has spoken to audiences nationally and internationally, in venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC); the New York Public Library; Columbia University, NY; Margaret Mitchell House and museum, Atlanta; Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta; Faulkner Word and Music Festival (New Orleans); Al Maadi Public Library (Egypt); Dartmouth College; Williams College, Georgia State University; the Cambridge Public Library; the JCC of San Francisco, Al-Najah University, Birzeit University, Bethlehem University (Palestine), Putney School in Vermont, and the Missouri Theater, and the Daniel Boone Regional Library, among others.
SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS:
Ibtisam is the founder of WRITE YOUR LIFE seminars, a creative-expression forum through which people from various age groups and backgrounds contribute to writing a more collective history by sharing personal narratives. Ibtisam has led WRITE YOUR LIFE workshops, and conducted author residencies in a large number of schools and learning communities, including Irma Rangel Young Women Academy (TX); The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts NOCCA (LA); Arab Educational Forum, Agdir Fourth Hakaya Festival, Morocco, The American Schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman; Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture (PA), Creativity for Peace camp, Santa Fe, The Museum School in Atlanta; NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English); and the Esalen Institute, Big Sur.
FROM THE ONGOING CREATIVE JOURNEY:
Ibtisam Barakat represented Palestine in the World Poetry Conference in Venezuela, 2009;
was the poet of WOMEN SPEAK International Gathering 2010, and
was a delegate to the 3rd UN conference on ending Racism in South Africa.
She is one of the 15 international authors who contributed to Amnesty International's Young Adult Anthology, FREE?, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For two years, 2010 and 2011, Ibtisam was one of the judges in the national finals of Poetry Out Loud, the poetry recitation contest for all of high schools in the US and the Islands, run by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. About 235 thousand students participated in Poetry Out Loud in 2010 and over 300 thousand in 2011.
A selection of Ibtisam's poetry, HOT TEA, MINT AND OLIVES, has been put to music by Classical music composer Kareem Roustom. The lyrics have become a permanent addition to the repertoire of the Boston Children's Chorus, and have been licensed to be sung by other choruses nationally and internationally.
In 2013, Ibtisam was the prize judge for the NSK Neustadt for children's literature. She nominated Naomi Shihab Nye who won the prize for 2013.
*Radio Street, the first chapter from Balcony on the Moon, in MASSACHUSETTS REVIEW (Winter, 2014)
* Poems for Readers younger than six years old. In the anthology POETRY FRIDAY for Celebrations. (April 2015)
*Forty Days of Mourning, an essay, in the international anthology BEING PALESTINIAN, Edinburgh University Press, Scotland (Spring 2016)
* BEING M.E. (Middle Eastern), Oklahoma Humanities Council magazine/ Being ME is winner of An Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Prize (2016) -- Read it here.
* BALCONY ON THE MOON, Coming of Age in Palestine, Ibtisam's companion memoir to TASTING THE SKY, was born into the world (October 25, 2016)
* TASTING THE SKY released in paperback and also released in Scholastic edition (January 2017).
* Ibtisam's work included in a Spanish-language anthology on Palestinian female authors (2017)
* Ibtisam's poetry appeared in "Here We Go," an anthology for young readers from Pomelo Books, Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell Editors. March 2017.
* Read VOX magazine online and in print, for an author interview with Ibtisam, (March 2017)
* Six poems by Ibtisam appeared online and in print, in "This Week in Palestine", (March 2017)
* Ibtisam's poetry featured in English and Arabic in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC anthology The Poetry of Us (2018). Editor, acclaimed poet J. Patrcick Lewis.
* RHYTHM poem published by Nimrod International Journal theme issue on the the Middle East and North Africa. Spring 2019
* BREAK-FAST at NIGHT, poem by in Journal of Children's Literature, Spring 2019
Via the poetry and prose of two languages, story and art, Ibtisam Barakat aims to contribute continually toward the freedom of all peoples and persons, the healing of all injustices especially in the lives of young people, and the restoration of joy in existence, hope in the future, and faith in humanity's highest aspirations in itself . . .
Thank you for your interest in Ibtisam Barakat's cross-cultural voice. I hope that you are finding creative and enriching expressions for your own voice. All voices are needed for the song of life to have all of its notes.
You can reach the author through the contact page.
Bio Update ongoing