“I Remember My Name” is an anthology of poems about Palestine. The editor, Vacy Vlazana, has collected poetry from three writers from the Palestinian diaspora whose roots are in Gaza. Though it is a short read, it is powerful. Despite the fact that all of the poets have something in common in terms of coming from Gaza, living in the diaspora and being poets, the unique style of each one stands out.
Each of the three contributors – Samah Sabawi, Jehan Bseiso and Ramzy Baroud – have their own section within the book, with a mini-biography at the beginning. With such a layout, Vlazana allows readers to have some insight into the poets and their story before reading their work. This, I feel, gives the poetry a greater impact.
Having their own section also means that we can get an idea about which part of Palestinian culture they identify with most. Samah Sabawi, for example, writes about the way that her parents have preserved Palestinian culture in the household with her father writing poetry about Palestine and her mother cooking Palestinian food. It is also clear that, as a mother, she expresses the wish to pass her Palestinian heritage onto her children through both her writing and her cooking. Ramzy Baroud’s passion for the plight of refugees was also very obvious.
This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book awards 2016, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site.