Palestine Writes is the only North American literature festival dedicated to celebrating and promoting cultural productions of Palestinian writers and artists. Born from the pervasive exclusion from or tokenization of Palestinian voices in mainstream literary institutions, Palestine Writes brings Palestinian cultural workers from all parts of Historic Palestine and our exiled Diaspora together with peers from other marginalized groups in the United States. Crossing multiple borders—geographic, linguistic, and cultural boundaries—writers, artists, publishers, booksellers, scholars, musicians, and thinkers hold conversations about art, literature, and the intersections between culture and power, struggle, politics, climate change, sexuality, human rights, animal rights, food sovereignty, and more. The festival boasts panel discussions, workshops, music, children’s programming, networking, readings, dance, theatre, cooking, oral storytelling, cooking, and other creative expressions of culture.

Palestinians are an ancient indigenous people from a fabled and tortured land. No matter who holds the guns and power over our homeland, our nation is deeply rooted in its soil, which cradles our collective memory, as it does the bones of our ancestors. All of our traditions, our stories, folklore, poetry, culinary forms, superstitions, traditional clothing, architecture, art, and cultural habits were born in that singular patch of earth over the span of millennia. Palestine Writes exists as an artistic and literary space to hold dear and celebrate and share the magnificence of Palestine’s indigenous heritage, particularly as powerful forces work tirelessly to erase us.

Palestine Writes showcases brilliant voices from our long-suffering people, devoted to the belief that art challenges repression and creates bonds between Palestine and the rest of the world.

The inaugural Palestine Writes Literature Festival in 2020 was groundbreaking celebration of the power of Palestinian artistic visionaries and their supporters, bringing us together in the spirit of Mahmoud Darwish’s sentiment that we “have the right to smell autumn’s fragrances and ask the night for a dream.”

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