A new memoir by Ibtisam Barakat:
IBTISAM BARAKAT: Award-winning, Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist and educator. Ibtisam Barakat (pronunciation) (Arabic spelling: ابتسام بركات ) was born in Beit Hanina, East 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, and has taught Language Ethics at Stephens College. She 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) BALCONY ON THE MOON, Coming of Age in Palestine
(FSG/Macmillan, October 2016.)
(2) TASTING THE SKY, A Palestinian Childhood.
(FSG, 2007) Hardcover, paperback (2016), and e-book.
Available in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Farsi.
(3) THE LETTER TA' ESCAPES التاء المربوطة تطير
(Arabic book: TAMER INSTITUTE, PALESTINE 2011)
(4) 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, California.
ONGOING CREATIVE ACTIVITIES:
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, she was also 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.
* Work will be included in a Spanish-language anthology on Palestinian female authors. (2017)
* Ibtisam's poetry will appear in "Here We Go," an anthology for young readers from Pomelo Books, March 2017.
* Read VOX magazine online and in print, for an author interview with Ibtisam, (March 2017)
* Six poems by Ibtisam will appear online and in print, in "This Week in Palestine", (March 2017)
* Ibtisam's poetry will be published by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (2018)
Via the poetry and prose of two languages, story and art, Ibtisam 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: October 2017