winner of the 2017 may sarton new hampshire poetry prize - order it here

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“I don't know how Zeina Hashem Beck is able to do this. Her poems feel like whole worlds. Potent conversations with the self, the soul, the many landscapes of being, and the news that confounds us all - her poems weave two languages into a perfect fabric of presence, with an almost mystical sense of pacing and power. "You Fixed It" might be one of the masterpieces of our time. There is death, loss, disaster, but more importantly, an exquisite sense of reviving language and poetry -- anthems of life, love, respect, abounding. Everything Arabic we treasure comes alive in these poems - readers will feel restored to so many homes, revived, amazed. Zeina Hashem Beck writes with a brilliant, absolutely essential voice.” —Naomi Shihab Nye

"Reading Louder than Hearts, it struck me that Zeina has invented her own language, something between English and Arabic." —The Hindu

"There isn’t a word of falseness, a hint of voguish irony — just a deep love for her subjects and her language and an astonishing ability to relay that in verse. [...] There’s no simpler way to say: it’s actual magic, the kind of magic poetry is uniquely capable of performing. Again and again in the collection, Beck demonstrates herself to be a sincere master of this conjuring." —Kaveh Akbar on Ron Slate's Blog

"Lebanese poet Zeina Hashem Beck delivers a tour de force in her second collection, inviting the reader to join her in the emotional interstices between the Arab and Western worlds that she inhabits and embodies." —World Literature Today

“Here, as always in the poetry of Zeina Hashem Beck the world pliés before us in all of its ruthless beauty and terror.” — Dante Di Stefano on Best American Poetry

Louder than Hearts … borrows from the poetry of Iraqi poet Al Mutanabbi; the music of Umm Kulthum; the taste of kibbeh; and the grief of Aleppo. From the English, we hear echoes of the Harlem Renaissance, Nina Simone, William Shakespare, Homer, a Greek chorus, ABC News, and Frankz Kafka.” —Marcia Lynx Qualey in The National  

"Grounded, as always, in detailed observation, [Hashem] Beck records and hymns the ordinary gifts of physicality, motherhood, and living between two languages; a way of walking us through her world." —The London Magazine

"Louder than Hearts is a book of vision, freedom and originality." -- The Asian Review of Books

“Zeina Hashem Beck’s manuscript, Louder than Hearts, has it all—compelling language and a sense of moral gravitas, personal urgency and the ability to address a larger world with passion and artfulness.   These poems are sensual and serious.  They have grit and spirit, grief and music.  They give us a contemporary woman making her complex negotiations with history and culture in voice that is strong and discerning, God-soaked and edgy, able to carry both loss and beauty, to make music out of personal longing and cultural tragedy.   By threading Arabic words throughout the book Hashem Beck creates a meditation on the possibilities and limitations of translation, cultural and linguistic. And yet, how clearly these poems speak to us all.   Louder than Hearts is certainly timely in the way it provides a lens through which to see life in the Middle East, and hear the musical mix of English and Arabic.  But the poems are also timeless explorations of love and loss, of an individual’s attempt to understand her own intimate experience within the larger context of world events and the spiritual realities that permeate them.” —Betsy Sholl, 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize Judge