Ghassan Zaqtan

Osama Silwadi

Ghassan Zaqtan is a Palestinian poet and novelist. He was born in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, and has lived in Jordan, Beirut, Damascus, and Tunis. His book Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me, translated by Fady Joudah, received the Griffin International Poetry Prize in 2013. He is the winner, alongside Elias Khoury and Alice Walker, of the Mahmoud Darwish Excellence Award. In 2014 and 2016, he was shortlisted for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature from the University of Oklahoma. In recognition of his achievement and contribution to Arabic and Palestinian literature, Zaqtan was awarded the National Medal of Honor by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2013. He is a consultant for cultural policies in the Welfare Association and serves on the executive board of the Mahmoud Darwish Foundation. Zaqtan writes a weekly column in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam . He lives in Ramallah.

Awards and Honors

Griffin International Poetry Prize, 2013