blood stitched time
Suheir Hammad

Our kafiyes out of fashion
the stories stitched into them
unraveling round our necks

and now
we’ve achieved Nobel
world peace a nobel and worthy cause
we’ve thank youd thank youd thank youd
those who’ve denied our humanity eternally
and warmed our bitten hands with
those of our murderers

an eye for an eye
and when our eyes
long since bombed out
are swallowed as olive pits
the whole world is blind
we screamed     our
throats shredded to pieces of meat
thrown to hungry wolves in violent heat

i am the mother
no longer willing to sacrifice sons
to wars of men and
gods of war            i
mother refuse to lose
more daugthers to sons gone crazy
watching kids get bombed and blown
into bits of brain and bone

i am the father
lost his daughters to refugee insanity
the daughter of landless orphans
child of impotent dreams

and now
kissers of earth             lovers of night
people of god                victims of survival
we understand
stand under the strain of false peace jammed up hopes
we speak with dried olive branches
caught in chests

we call back to the phalesteen
of folk songs and village dances
the phalesteen of martyrs and their mothers
the phalesteen bulldozed over in beirut
whose mouth was jammed silent
with food stamps in brooklyn

now that we’ve visited the white house
where is the living room jordan spoke of
who holds the key to our house
who lives in our house

i am the daughter
coughing up the olive branch
the son rebuilding a nation
the father rebuilding himself
i am the mother
stitching our stories into kafiyes
stitched into ourland
of tears and blood
with years and love

i stitch the story
into a kafiye
never to unravel

Publishers for Palestine
November 3, 2023

We invite publishers, editors, and writers around the world who stand for justice, freedom of expression, and the power of the written word, to sign this letter and join our global solidarity collective, Publishers for Palestine.

We honour the courage, creativity, and resistance of Palestinians, their profound love of their historic lands, and their refusal to be erased, or grow silent, despite Israel’s horrific genocidal acts of violence. Against the chilling complicity of Western media and cultural industries, we find hope sparked by the surge of bodies and voices that continue to gather, write, speak, sing, combat falsehoods, and build community and solidarity across social media and on our streets, across the world.

Over the past month, we have witnessed Israel’s incessant bombardment of Gaza as a form of collective punishment, using banned phosphorous bombs and unusual new weapons, with the support of governments in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Europe, and Australia. We have watched 1.1 million Palestinians flee their homes in the north, only to experience the brutal destruction of hospitals and spaces of shelter in schools, refugee camps, churches, and mosques in the south of Gaza. We are currently witnessing 2.3 million people, of whom 50% are children, being cruelly denied basic necessities of shelter, food, water, fuel, and electricity as Israel launches a ground invasion. Over 9,000 Palestinians have been killed thus far, along with entire generations of families that fled to Gaza during the Nakba of 1948. And with unbearable grief, we have watched Israel’s horrific killing of over 3,500 children. As Raz Segal, a Jewish scholar of Holocaust and genocide states: “Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza is quite explicit, open, and unashamed.”

Israel and Western powers are making a concerted attempt to extinguish dissent and maintain their faltering control. Across the publishing and media landscape since October 7th, 2023, the reprisals for speaking out have already been severe and extensive. We decry the killing of dozens of journalists in Gaza, including Mohamed Fayez Abu Matar, Saeed al-Taweel, Mohammed Sobh, Hisham Alnwajha, Mohammad Al-Salhi, Mohammad Jarghoun, Ahmed Shehab, Husam Mubarak, Mohammad Balousha, Issam Bhar, Salam Mema, Assaad Shamlakh, Ibrahim Mohammad Lafi, Khalil Abu Aathra, Sameeh Al-Nady, Abdulhadi Habib, Yousef Maher Dawas, and Roshdi Sarraj.

As cultural workers who pay careful attention to words and language, we note that this genocide was inaugurated with Israeli occupation military leaders using words such as “human animal” to justify their attacks on the civilians of Gaza. It is shocking to observe the use of such dehumanizing language from a people who have themselves experienced the same in the context of genocide. We are also reminded of the language of erasure and genocide embedded in the Zionist (and Christian) mythology of “A land without a people for a people without a land,” enacted by colonial Britain’s Balfour Declaration 106 years ago on November 2, 1917.

These histories of white supremacist, colonial, and capitalist systems of erasure, extraction, and control are reflected in the current moment, even within the rarefied worlds of arts and culture. From the Frankfurt Book Fair/Litprom’s refusal to honour the award given to Palestinian author Adania Shibli (a letter of protest against this was signed by over 1,000 well-known writers), to the cancellation of author readings such as Viet Thanh Nguyen at New York’s 92Y, and Mohammed el-Kurd at the University of Vermont, and the recent firing of David Velasco, the editor of Artforum magazine, Western literary and publishing organizations have revealed their deep imbrication in U.S. and Israeli political and economic interests by silencing and punishing writers who speak out for Palestine.

We condemn the complicity of all those working within corporate and independent publishing who enable or condone such repression through their cowardice, silence, and cooperation with the demands of Israeli occupation and imperialist donors, funders, and governments. We condemn the policing and censorship of writers, the bullying and harassment of bookstore owners and staff, and the intimidation of publishing workers who are in solidarity with Palestinians. Publishing, for us, is the exercise of freedom, cultural expression, and resistance. As publishers we are dedicated to creating spaces for creative and critical Palestinian voices and for all who stand in solidarity against imperialism, Zionism, and settler-colonialism. We defend our right to publish, edit, distribute, share, and debate works that call for Palestinian liberation without recrimination. We know that this is our role in the resistance.

The silencing of Palestinian authors and writers only reinforces a fear of Palestinian literary resistance and contributes to the genocide of Palestinians and land theft. The same fear that is behind the bombs, the demolitions, the abductions, and the torture of Palestinian prisoners, is the fear that holds the Palestinian archives in Israeli control. As the writer Ghassan Kanafani said, “the Palestinian cause is not a cause for Palestinians only, but a cause for every revolutionary.” He reminds us that none of us are free until all of us are free.

Now is the time to stand with Palestinians and step into a new era of anti-colonial resistance—an era that refuses the Oslo concessions and the normalization of ties with the Zionist state. Now is the time to remember and uphold other historical victories against settler-colonial regimes, such as the resistance that rid Algeria of its French colonizers. Now is the time to intensify our support for Palestinian liberation from Israel and its U.S. and European backers. Now is the time to build solidarity amongst us to collectively refuse intimidation, repression, fear, and violence.

We call on our comrades, friends, and colleagues across various publishing industries to sign this letter and support the following demands:

Stop the genocide and bring an end to all violence against Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, across historic Palestine, and in the diaspora.

Hold Israel and its allies accountable for the war crimes they have committed.

Assert the demands of Palestinian people to freedom, resistance, and return.

Uphold the call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid.

Assure that Palestinian voices should not be silenced from future international book fairs and literary festivals across the world. Instead, they should be invited as guests of honour to share their stories.

Commit to making the publishing industry a genuine site of learning and freedom of speech. As publishers we are dedicated to creating spaces for Palestinian voices and those who stand in solidarity against the war machine.

(If you work in the publishing industry and would like to add your name to this statement, please fill out this form.)

Signed by:
AK Press, US & UK
Apostroph, Catalunya, Spain
ArabLit Quarterly and ArabLit Books, Morocco
ARP Books, Canada
Arsenal Pulp Press, Canada
Between the Lines, Canada
Beyond the Pale Books, Ireland
Charles H. Kerr Publishing, US
Common Notions Press, US
Daraja Press, Canada
Йcosociйtй, Quйbec, Canada & France
Editions du remue-menage, Quйbec, Canada
En Toutes Lettres, Morocco
Essay Press, US
La fabrique йditions, France
Fernwood Publishing, Canada
Hajar Press, UK
Haymarket Books, US & UK
Interlink Publishing, US
Interventions, Australia
Invisible Publishing, Canada
Left Book Club, UK
LeftWord Books, India
Lux Йditeur, Quйbec & France
Manifest Llibres, Catalunya, Spain
Marjin Kiri, Indonesia
Mйmoire d’encrier, Quйbec, Canada
Microcosm Publishing, US
OR Books, US
Pasado y Presente, Catalunya, Spain
Pluto Press, UK & US
Pluto Journals, Ltd., UK
PM Press, US & UK
Radical Books Collective, US
Roam Agency, US
Saqi Books, UK
Setu Prakashani, India
Stree Samya, India
Tilted Axis, UK
trace press, Canada
Tulika Books, India
Upping the Anti, Canada
Verso Books, US and UK
Verso Libros, Catalunya, Spain
Women Unlimited, India
Ketebe Publishing, Turkey
Out-Spoken Press, UK
dpr-barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Seven Stories Press, US
The Hobbyhorse, US
Zand Press, Nairobi
Canadian Dimension, Canada
Shed publishing, France
Monthly Review, US
Communis Press, US
Tajfuny, Poland
Small Beer Press, US
Uitgeverij EPO, Belgium
Sin Permiso, Spain
CounterPunch, US
Sambasivan & Parikh, US
Pinhole Poetry, Canada
Assembly Press, Canada
Penerbit Anagram, Indonesia
Tanah Air Beta, Indonesia
POST Press, Indonesia
Bamboe Roentjing, Indonesia
Intensif Books, Indonesia
Basanti Press, India
Labirin Buku, Indonesia
Pustaka Bahamut, Indonesia
Svara, Malaysia
Puan Catra, Indonesia
Buku Fixi, Malaysia
Rotasi Books, Indonesia
Penerbit Buruan & Co., Indonesia
Yayasan Bentala, Indonesia
Penerbit Terang, Indonesia
Enggang Media Publisher, Indonesia
Ilhambookstore, Indonesia
Renard Press, UK
Entypois Publications, Greece
Zuka Books, Pakistan
Dalam dekapan cinta dan pembebasan, Indonesia
Fernwood Press, US
Three Essays Collective, India
Mascara Publishing, Australia
Cipher Press, UK
Antinomi, Indonesia
Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Peninsula Press, UK
Edisi Mori, Indonesia
Editora Terra sem Amos, Brazil
Taipa Editorial, Brazil
Surrey Muse Arts Society, Canada
Grieveland, US
Bookmarks , UK
Anarasa, Indonesia
Vita Books, Kenya
BULANDU Publisher, Indonesia
Open Protest Network, UK
Arc Poetry Magazine, Canada
Sigikata, Indonesia
Penerbit Cerita Kata, Indonesia
Black Goddexx press, US
Pro You media, Indonesia
404 Ink, UK
Panitia Jumaahan, Indonesia
ContraEscritura, Spain
Rachna Books & Publications, India
Zaloћba /*cf., Slovenia
Kedai Hitam Putih, Malaysia
Litani Literasi, Indonesia
The 87 Press, UK
IS Editora, Brazil
Cassava Republic Press, Nigeria & UK
Editora Faнsca , Brazil
HOMEF books, Nigeria
Fahamu Africa, Senegal
Katarsis, Indonesia
Perpustakaan Online Genosida 1965-1966, Indonesia
Penerbit Partikular, Indonesia
Blaft Publications, India
Dahlia Books, UK
Pustakapedia, Indonesia
Turos Pustaka, Indonesia
Footnote Press, Indonesia
Divan Kitap, Turkey
Babil Kitap, Turkey
BPPM Balairung UGM, Indonesia
Les Pages Noires, Canada
Carnation Zine, Canada
Spectre Journal, US
Saffron Press, Canada
Penerbit Pelangi Sastra, Indonesia
Penerbit Shofia, Indonesia
Gantala Press, Philippines
Litwin Books, US
El Viejo Topo, Spain
Edicions del 1979, Catalunya
Icaria Editorial, Spain
Menino Morreu, Coruсa, Galiza
Anti-Racism Daily, US
Skein Press, Ireland
Wasafiri Magazine, UK
Cyhoeddiadau’r Stamp, Wales
Editorial Imperdible, Spain
Edicions de la Ela Geminada, Spain
Librarie Saint-Henri Books, Canada
Kube Publishing, UK
Kimpa Vita Press & Publishers, Norway
Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, US
Diari Foll, Spain
Bentang Pustaka, Indonesia
Foundling Productions, UK
RDT_28 INSTITUTE, Indonesia
Midnight Sun Magazine, Canada
Book Works, UK
Brook , France
Editorial Traficantes de Sueсos, Spain
Йditions Burn~Aoыt, France
Capitбn Swing Libros, Spain
Renebook, Indonesia
Йditions Hourra, France
On ne compte pas pour du beurre, France
Fomite Press, US
Post Fire Books, France
йditions trouble, France
Metonymy Press, Canada
Templando el acero, Spain
House House Press, Canada
Hors d’atteinte, France
Hungry Zine, Canada
Wendy’s Subway, US
Eyelevel Artist-Run Centre and Bookstore, Canada
Йditions Triptyque, Quйbec, Canada
Bell Press, Canada
Hyphen, India
Radiant Press, Canada
Sinar Djaman, Indonesia
Noelia Gonzalez Barrancos, Andalusia, Spain
Magazine Ictus, France
Orciny Press, Spain
Knight Errant Press, Scotland
Les Editions Jimsaan, Sйnйgal
Peninsula Press, UK
Tumbalacasa Ediciones , Mйxico
Barddas, Cymru/Wales
Makina Books , UK
Silver Press, UK
Ignota Books, UK
La Garъa Poesнa, Spain
Metatron Press, Canada
Cwmni Cara Cyf, Cymru/Wales
Art Metropole, Canada
Pink Asparagus, Canada
Book Works, UK
Sublunary Editions, US
Broken Sleep Books , UK
Repeater Books & Zer0 Books, UK
Groupe Nota bene, Canada
The Polyglot, Canada
Monitor Books, UK
Suspended Magazine , US
Bauma editorial/imprenta, Spain
Game Over Books, US
Party Trick Press, Canada
Navayana, India
Profil Kitap, Turkey
Editorial la Felguera, Spain
Strange Region Press, UK
Kawah Buku, Malaysia
CivicLeicester, UK
consonni, Basque Country
Sneha Publishers, India
Sad Press, UK
Her Stories Foundation , India
Butterfly Books, India
Gorse journal, Ireland
TIMBER Journal, US
Tramp Press, Ireland
Baraka Books, Quйbec, Canada
Page Not Found, The Netherlands
Now Cactus Press, US
Favila Editorial, Colombia
The Colleagues’ Publications, Greece
Rachel Parish Editing, US
Errant Journal, Amsterdam/Berlin
Floarea Indexing, US
Virus Editorial, Spain
Maa Press, Canada
Taba Yensu Press, Canada & Namibia
The Patriots, Malaysia
Self Group Collective, US
Editora Trinta Zero Nove, Mozambique
Textile Magazine, Canada
D Editore, Italy
Bulut Publishing House, Turkey
Ameena Gafoor Institute, UK
Playwrights Canada Press, Canada
Waziz Books, Egypt
Black Freighter Press, US
Livraria Leonardo da Vinci, Brazil
Big black mountain the darkness never ever comes, Greece
The Public Source, Lebanon
Book*hug Press, Canada
Locked Horn Press, US
Sampaguita Press, US
Folio Books, Pakistan
Maktaba e Danyal, Pakistan
Spiral Editions, US
Umi to Tsuki sha, Japan
Bulak Neşriyat, Turkey
H Publishing, Turkey
Endьlьs Yayınları, Turkey
Radiator Press, US
Octana Books, Greece
Intrinsic Coat, US
Flatpack Publications, US
Ursus Americanus Press, US
Beautiful Days Press, US
Harpoon Books, US
fifth wheel press, US
Astringent Press, US
Spirit Bound Press , US
Pilot Press, UK
Adjunct Press, US
TWAIL Review, Colombia
Fox Chapel Publishing, US
Generous Press, US
Ethel Zine & Micro Press, US
auric press, US
Profil Kitap, Turkey
Yeditepe Yayınevi, Turkey
Ghost Proposal, US
Зizgi Kitabevi, Turkey
O’r Pedwar Gwynt, Cymru/Wales
Kadim Publishing, Turkey
Matbuat – İyidьşьn Publishing, Turkey
Vulgus Publishing, Turkey
A/synechia (Α/συνέχεια), Greece
Freda Press, Canada
Lausan Magazine, US/Hong Kong
For the Birds Trapped in Airports, US
Mythic Roads Press, Canada
Glacehouse Books LLC, US
flo. Literary Magazine, Canada
Raven and Rogue, US
Chintha Publishers, India
The Devastator, US
Peepal Tree Press, UK
Alejandra Mejia, US
qui parle, US
Whit Pres, US
Other Press, US
Ediciones Akal, Spain
Tutkijaliitto, Finland
Luciole/Playtime Publishers, South Korea
1000contra Infoshop, Brazil
ReOrient , UK
Ellie Anderson, US
The Operating System / Liminal Lab, Lenapehoking
Montrйal Serai, Quйbec, Canada
Varun’s Worklab, India
Ethos Books, Singapore
Scorched Earth Press, US
Institute of Policy Studies Press, Pakistan
Policy Perspectives, Pakistan
Eye Visuals Pty Ltd, Australia
Hate zine, UK
Kersplebedeb, Canada
Йditions de la rue Dorion, Canada
Science for the People, US
Journal of Global Faultlines, UK
Arab Studies Quarterly, US
Prometheus Journal, UK
Diversity Studies, South Africa
Bethlehem University Journal, Palestine
Islamophobia Journal, US
Journal of Indentureship and its Legacies, UK
Michael Wiegers, US
Everybody Press, US
Lakeer, Pakistan
E Media Publication SB, Malaysia
Penerbit USM (USM Press), Malaysia
Tentang Kita, Malaysia
Secondthesis, South Korea
Mati Books, South Korea
Briarpatch Magazine, Canada
Acid Horizon, US & UK
Science Fiction Writers Union of Korea, South Korea
Magic Mongrel Publishers, India
L’йchelle du temple, йditeur, France
The87press, UK
Йditions de la Pleine Lune, Quйbec, Canada
Centro Social, Librerнa y Editorial Proyecciуn, Chile
Wspуłbycie, Poland
Jamhoor, Canada
Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Poland
Khaos Publishing, Finland
Аla Books and Authors, Pakistan
Utu Press, Finland
Vita nuova, Finland
Bilal Books, Singapore
Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore, Italy
Йditions le passager clandestin , France
Mahrousa Center for publishing, Information & Press services, Egypt
Beehive Books, US
State Crime Journal, UK
Chaekgalpi Publishing Co., South Korea
Rollercoaster Press, South Korea
IDEA Book Publishing, South Korea
Huud, South Korea
frACTalia Press, Romania
Buffalo Berry Press/BlackFlash Magazine, Canada
Gap Riot Press, Canada
Swimming with the whales, Egypt
Left of the Equator Press, Aotearoa New Zealand
Cooperativa editorial Heredad, Mexico
Runografi, Finland
Brick Books, Canada
Lawrence and Gibson publishing collective, Aotearoa New Zealand
Weavers Press, US
Mizan Publishing, Indonesia
Snow lit rev / Allardyce, Barnett, Publishers, UK
دار توبقال , المغرب
Entypois Publications, Greece
Йditions d’en bas, Switzerland
Йditions Clinamen, Switzerland
Sefsafa Publishing , Egypt
A certain book, South Korea
Cinnamon Press, UK
Nagarghata, India
Hamilton Review of Books, Canada
祥伝社, 日本 (Japan)
Etc.books, Japan
Irregular Rhythm Asylum, Japan
Sticky Fingers Publishing, UK
皓星社, 日本 (Japan)
Nagaihiru, Japan
Kedai Boekoe, Indonesia
Pustaka Catut, Indonesia
Hanatabasyobo, Japan
Tababooks, Japan
Red Letter Press , US
Satoyamasha, Japan
Buku Peledak, Indonesia
TLTRPReЯ , Germany
株式会社 皓星社/Kosseisha Co.,Ltd, Japan
Kaуtica Libros, Spain
EI Mainoksia, Kiitos!, Finland
NO NIIN Magazine, Finland
Boitempo, Brazil
Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, US
The Avery Review, US
Cicada Editora, Chile, Indonesia
Yayasan Cahyaloka, Indonesia
Rene Islam, Indonesia
Red Flag Books, Australia
Thread Makes Blanket press, US
Veritas Press, US
Everything’s Fine, Philippines
L’Oie de Cravan, Canada
On Our Own Authority!, US
Yohakusha, Japan
Dar Al Saqi, Lebanon
House Sparrow Press, UK
Anamot Press, UK
Smokestack Books, UK
The Skasiarheio, Greece
Archive Books, Germany, Italy, Senegal
Channel, Ireland
Modjaji Books, South Africa
Tradewind Books, Canada
Small Tune Press, Hong Kong and UK
Really Rather Wild Books Ltd, UK
Parisal Putthaga nilayam, India
MS Books Editions, France
South/South Movement, transnational movement for academics and activists
Kweli Journal, US
Isang Balangay Media Productions (Balangay Books), Philippines
Lomboy Press, Philippines
SINK Magazine, UK
Torre de Babel Ediciones, Mйxico
Mutante Editores, Chile
Poetry Birmingham , UK
Las Repъblicas de lo Salvaje, Mйxico
Cormorбn Ediciones , Chile
Editorial Tempestades, Chile
Cosmic Dog House Press, US
Diбlogos do Sul, Brazil
Comma Press
Child’s Play (International) Ltd., UK
CHEERIO Publishing, UK
SRL Publishing , UK
Osmosis Press, UK
Kwago Publishing Lab, Philippines
Faction Press, Singapore
DYB Publishing, US
UQP, Australia
Resistance Books , UK
Sundog Lit, US
paper cameras press, US
Alhadaek, Lebanon
Olive Branch Fair Trade, US
Nasusatoyamasya Co. Ltd., Japan
Sanwa Shoseki Co. Ltd., Japan
Koshisha, Japan
Paradigm City Publishing Limited, Nigeria
Bent Key Publishing, UK
Al Karma Publishers, Egypt
Riot of Roses Publishing House, US

Updated January 19, 2024