In 2007, Tom Sleigh was invited to the Middle East by Munir Akash — who translated works of the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish — to tell a more nuanced and emotional story of the Palestinian and Syrian refugees. Shortly after his arrival, war broke out again in Lebanon and Sleigh's time quickly turned from an archivist poet to an eye-witness journalist.
Sleigh has written eleven collections of poetry, as well as essays and prose on his experiences in war-torn countries, his own lifelong battle with a deadly disease, and other topics. Sleigh is a Distinguished Professor in the MFA program at Hunter College.
He joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest collection, The King's Touch, published by Graywolf Press. He talks about the current crisis in Ukraine, finding the authority to tell stories about refugees, how most poems take 80 or 90 drafts, how the personal can be married to the political and more.
(Recorded on March 13, 2022)
Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com