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Suheir Hammad Wins 2009 Arab American Book Award Learn more...>

the new Cypher publication

On October 30, 2008, at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, Suheir Hammad was joined by Paul Beatty, Roger Bonair-Agard, Michael Cirelli,  Aracelis Girmay, Danny Hoch, Patrick Rosal and Patricia Smith and other guests to celebrate the publication of Hammad's new release breaking poems.
watch now >

Gloria Steinem and Suheir Hammad, Photo: Dan winter
Photo: Dan Winter

In Conversation:
Gloria Steinem &
Suheir Hammad

A feminist icon and a rising star on the sexual revolution, the booty-call nineties, and the Superwoman myth.
Read the interview...>



Breaking Poems and Breaking Stereotypes:
An Interview with
Suheir Hammad

By: GRITtv with Laura Flanders Wednesday,
October 22, 2008 1:45 pm
Read Press Release...>
Watch the Interview...>

Cypher Books proudly presents the new publication, breaking poems October 2008 >

breaking poems

Suheir Hammad

Book Reviews | Marketing Info | Author

Award Winning

breaking poems has been selected as a winner of the 30th annual Before Columbus Foundation/AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS for 2009

Download the Press Release


Founded in 2005, Cypher Books, a New York City-based, independent publisher is proud to present breaking poems, the new collection of poetry from Tony award-winning poet, Suheir Hammad.  Consistent with Cypher's mission to publish innovative and necessary poetry, Hammad departs from her previous books with a bold and explosive style to do what the best poets have always done: create a new language.  Using "break" as a trigger for every poem, Hammad destructs, constructs, and reconstructs the English language for us to hear the sound of a breath, a woman's body, a land, a culture, falling apart, broken, and put back together again.


"Incantatory and powerful, Suheir Hammad's voice compels you in these new poems to enact a beautiful revolution, a retrieval from the very heart of loss. Everything falls on the off beat, wa love, wa body, wa life, wa freedom."
Chris Abani, author of GraceLand and Song for Night.

"Suheir Hammad's break introduces English to an Arabic vernacular that startles into being an altogether new language, bridging the archipelago of a Palestine under siege to the diaspora and beyond, breaking through convention, breaking open locks on mind and heart, breaking into a music inspired by the Coltranes, Sun Ra and free jazz, Lee Scratch Perry and Ravi Shankar, a music that is at once a joyous celebration of survival and a poignant cri de Coeur that cannot be ignored and that Mahmoud Darwish should have lived to see.  This is a poetry written for people who have endured the winds of hurricanes and invasions.  What wisdom, energy, joy and poignancy Hammad brings to the page-for all of this, and for teaching me a new speaking, I give her my thanks."
Carolyn Forché

"breaking poems takes on the geographic lines that have bound women for ages and marked their bodies, their selves with the lines of unjust notions of property and exploitation. These are poems that inform the dreams of a world that honors woman and honors woman speaking her own voice, breaking the bonds of old worlds with bright moments, bright moments, bright moments."
Afaa Michael Weaver


About the Author

Suheir Hammad’s
work has appeared in dozens of anthologies and numerous publications. She was a co-writer and original cast member in the Tony-award winning Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. An Amherst College Aaron Copeland Fellow, she stars in the movie Salt of the Sea. The author of Born Palestenian, Born Black; Drops of This Story and ZataarDiva, Suheir has won several awards for her writing, including The Audre Lorde Poetry Award, a Van Lier Fellowship, and a Sister of Fire Award.
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