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Wags:
Writers are great series


Nathalie Handal
Poet, Literary Researcher,

and Eternal Traveler


"Nathalie Handal officially lives in Boston but she calls from Paris, tells you about her last trip to Spain and her next trip to Jordan—like the impossible homeland, her address is unattainable," writes her friend Lina Tibi. She continues, "We are doomed the moment we go beyond the surface of her words, for we become captives of a voice that creeps into us."
Nathalie has lived in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and traveled extensively in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  She is presently living between Boston and London (where she a literary researcher in the English and Drama Department of the University of London).  She has given presentations at La Sorbonne, Yarmouk University, and University of Jordan (among others).  Most recently her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Ambit, Stone Soup, Sable, Jusoor, Visions-International, Al Jadid, Al Karmel, and she is the title poet of the anthology, The Space Between Our Footsteps. Nathalie loves dark chocolate and "coffee, coffee, and more coffee."  One of her favorite things to do is "Stare out into space and let my mind wander."  Her book of poetry, the never field, is dedicated "To My Grandmothers, To My Parents."   Traveling Rooms – a CD of her poetry accompanied by music – is dedicated "To all those I have met in my traveling life, to all those I shall meet."

An excerpt from Boston Yellow Cabs in An Ear to the Ground,
I feel most at home when I am sitting in a Boston Yellow Cab. The ride from Logan airport to my apartment in that yellow cab brings me peace. It calms even the echoes of my breathing.
     Every time I travel, I am comforted knowing I will be welcomed in a yellow cab. My addresses change, the concierge changes, the furniture changes, the bed sheets change, and even I change, but the yellow cabs are still yellow. I open those heavy doors, sit on those bouncing back seats, and feel a sense of relief. It’s like trying to convince myself that if one day I am lost, at least, I’ll find a piece of myself in one of these cabs. . . .
     I was sitting in a yellow cab going to the airport to fly to Iowa. Isn’t there always a time for Iowa? Maybe not. Most people I spoke to asked me with their eyebrows rising, their foreheads wrinkling, "Why are you going there?" To begin with, I was invited by my friend Nastasia, who is Bulgarian and happened to be working in Iowa City. And why not Iowa?

The essay Boston Yellow Cabs appears in the book
An Ear to the Ground
an anthology of the works of Václav Havel,
Arun Gandhi, Horton Foote, and 75 emerging writers.


Contact Nathalie Handal at
NatalyaH@compuserve.com

 

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