The Kennedy Center

Nathalie Handal



Biography

Nathalie Handal is a poet, playwright, and writer, who has lived in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Arab world. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, such as Poetrywales, Ploughshares, Poetry New Zealand, Stand Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Perihelion, and The Literary Review; and has been translated into more than 15 languages. She has been featured on NPR, KPFK, and PBS Radio, as well as the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, Mail & Guardian, the Jordan Times, and Il Piccolo. 
 
Her poetry has also been set to music and performed at venues such as Lincoln Center, The Chamber Music Northwest Summer Music Festival in Portland, Oregon, and The River Run Centre, Canada. Handal’s poetry has also been featured in numerous galleries and/or traveling exhibits and she has collaborated with different visual artists, resulting in exhibitions at galleries such as the Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago; Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder; International Center of Bethlehem; Khalil Sakakini Center, Ramallah; Al Hoash Gallery, Jerusalem; ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art; Artcar Museum, Houston; and Chikyudo Gallery, Japan.  
 
She has worked in local television in New York as the co-host of the literary show phatliterature; and has been involved either as a writer, director, or producer in more than 20 theatrical and/or film productions worldwide. She is currently playwright-in-residence at the New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) finishing a new play. Some of her recent theatrical credits include: The Stonecutters (writer; Loews Theatre, co-produced by New York Theatre Workshop and Nibras, 2007), La Cosa Dei Sogni (writer; The Public Theatre, New York, 2006), Between Our Lips (writer; The Public Theatre’s “New Works Now,” 2006). 
 
Handal teaches and lectures nationally and internationally, most recently in Africa and at Columbia University. She is Poetry Books Review Editor for Sable; an Advisory Board Member for the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia; an Advisory Board Member for the Levantine Center; an Editorial Board Member for the journal Transformations; Member of the Laboratory of Frontiers Studies, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; a member of Nibras Theatre Collective; co-founder of PTheatre in Motion (PTIM); and, Associate Artist and Development Executive for the production company The Kazbah Project.  
 
She is the author of two poetry books, The NeverField and The Lives of Rain (short-listed for the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize/The Pitt Poetry Series and recipient of the Menada Award); two poetry CDs, Traveling Rooms and Spell; the editor of The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology (an Academy of American Poets Bestseller and winner of the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award); and co-editor along with Tina Chang and Ravi Shankar of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (Norton, 2008). She is finishing Arab American & Arab Anglophone Literature and Dominican Poetry, Fiction and Theatre. 
 
Her third poetry book is forthcoming, as well as a reading of her new play at NYTW; and she is part of the production team for the feature film Gibran.

Watch Past Performances

Video 3/12/2015: Nathalie Handal and Hanna Khoury (U.S./Palestine)

Handal's most recent books include the critically acclaimed Poet in Andalucía and Love and Strange Horses. Khoury is a violinist trained in Arab and Western classical music. In a performance combining music with Handal's writings, they'll explore the vast Arab influences in Iberian arts and culture.

Nathalie Handal