Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, author of WATER & SALT, discusses the life and work of Palestinian poet and writer Zakaria Mohammed on The Poetry Magazine Podcast!

On this week’s episode, Cindy Juyoung Ok speaks with poet, essayist, and translator Lena Khalaf Tuffaha about the life and work of the renowned Palestinian poet and writer Zakaria Mohammed. Born in Nablus, Palestine, Mohammed was a freelance journalist, editor, and poet who authored nine volumes of poetry. In 1994, after twenty-five years in exile, he returned to his homeland to live in Ramallah where he recently died at the age of seventy-three. Ok and Khalaf Tuffaha discuss Mohammed’s rebelliousness, his democratizing practice of posting early drafts of his poems to Facebook, and how he approached writing in the shadow of Mahmoud Darwish. They also talk about grief, the politics of translation, and the always tricky task of composing an email. Finally, Khalaf Tuffaha treats us to some of Mohammed’s poems in Arabic and English translation that appear in the September 2023 issue of Poetry.