A Bird is not a Stone is a collection of poems by contemporary Palestinian writers, selected by the House of Poetry in al-Bireh, Palestine, and translated in Scotland. The idea for the project was born at a meeting between Murad al-Sudani and Rana Barakat of the House of Poetry and Scottish poets Liz Lochhead, Billy Letford, Henry King, Henry Bell and Lorna MacBean in summer 2012.
The poems, by 25 different artists, were translated using the ‘bridge’ method, in which Scottish poets worked from literal translations to create new ‘versions’ of the works in English, Scots, Gaelic and Shetlandic. You can find out more about the poets and others people involved in the project here, and about how to order the book here.
Between 9th April and 9th May 2014 we’re also raising money to bring Palestinian poets to the UK and to distribute copies of the book in Palestine. Please support us via our Kickstarter appeal.
We would also like to thank the Friends of George Wyllie, the Scottish artist whose sculpture A Bird is not a Stone seemed such a fitting name for this book. The George Wyllie Education Initiative says this of the work:
George Wyllie created his Berlin Burd in 1988. It was over 5m tall. The Berlin Wall, over which it was to look, was 4m high and divided East Berlin from West Berlin. It was manned by guards and travelling from East to West was forbidden.
Liz Lochhead, who was in Germany at the same time as Wyllie, later recalled the event in her poem, A Wee Multitude of Questions for George Wyllie, written on his 75th birthday…
faced an absurd
(Which the burd keeked over
and The Wall keeled over)
If you have any questions not answered elsewhere on this website, feel free to get in touch.