Salman Masalha
(Israel, 1953)   
Salman Masalha

Salman Masalha was born in 1953 in the Arab town of Al-Maghar (in the Galilee, northern Israel). In 1972 he moved to Jerusalem and has lived in the city ever since. In the mid ’70s he was imprisoned in an Israeli military jail for reasons of conscience.

Masalha studied at the Hebrew University and holds a Ph.D. degree in classical Arabic literature; he has taught Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as a co-editor of the Concordance of Early Arabic Poetry. Six volumes of poetry have been published to date, as well as articles, columns, poems and translations in newspapers and journals in both Arabic and Hebrew and articles in European languages. His poems have been translated and published in anthologies and journals in many languages. Masalha serves on the editorial board of Masharef, a quarterly Arabic journal.

Of Masalha’s six volumes of poetry, the first five saw print in Arabic; the sixth has now appeared in Hebrew. The range of subjects is broad, and beyond his treatment of identity – national, linguistic, cultural and political – Masalha conducts a dialogue with Arabic and Hebrew poetry within his own. Family members, moments of existential tension, love (its joys and sorrows), city and village landscapes – each of these has an important place in the brilliant poetry of this many-faceted writer.

© Rami Saari

The Partridge Tail
The Little Girl From Gaza
The Path Asks
I Write Hebrew
On Artistic Freedom In The National Era

Also on this site
The City of the Walking Flower
Essay by Salman Masalha.

A Mixture of Identities
Review by Marzouq Halabi.

Double Agent in Hebrew
Review by Omri Herzog.

On the Wings of Freedom
Article by Sabah Zwein.

Being free – without an excuse?
Article by Rami Saari.

‘Not my Mother Tongue’
Review by Hannan Hever.


In Arabic:
Khana Farigha (Blank Space). Zaman Publications, Jerusalem 2002.
Rish al-Bahr (Sea Feathers). Zaman Publications, Jerusalem 1999.
Maqamat Sharqiyya (Oriental Scales). Jerusalem 1991.
Ka-l-Ankabut bila Khuyut (Like a Spider without Webs). Jerusalem 1989.
Maghnat Ta’ir al-Khuddar (Green Bird Songs). Al-Katib Publications, Jerusalem 1979.

In Hebrew:
Ehad Mikan (In Place). Am Oved Publications, Tel Aviv 2004.

Poetry in translation
In German and Arabic:
Nach dem letzten Himmel. Neue palästinensische Lyrik. Ed. Khalid al-Maaly. Köln 2003.

In Macedonian:
Israeli Poetry. Skopje 2002.

In English:
A Crack on the Wall. New Arab Poetry. Eds. M. Obank & S. Shimon. Saqi Books, London 2001.

In French:
Le poème arabe moderne. Compiled and introduced by Abdul Kader El Janabi. Maisonneuve et Larose, Paris 1999.

Scholarly work
In Arabic and English:
Six Early Arab Poets, new edition and concordance. As co-author. Institute of Asian and African Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Max Schloessinger Memorial Series, Jerusalem 1999.

In Arabic:
Listen to Kamilya Jubran singing Masalha in Arabic

In English:
Biographical information

The Price of Arab Illiteracy
Interview with Salman Masalha.

Listen to Kamilya Jubran singing Masalha in English

Originally published in the Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha-Ir.

Eleven poems translated into English by Vivian Eden.

In French:
Originally published in the Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha-Ir

In German:
Originally published in the Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha-Ir

In Hebrew:
Live video poetry reading

In Portuguese:
Photo and poem

In Spanish:
Biographical information


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