Majed Mujad & Kareem James Abu-Zeid: The Book of Trivialities

Time and date

Thursday 13 July 2023

6:30 pm

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The Book of Trivialities is a poetry collection about love, beauty, politics, and resistance. Originally written in poet Majed Mujed's native Arabic and translated by award-winning translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid. It's a unique bilingual book which reflects the collaborative and creative process of writers and translators working across cultures.

Majed was one of the inaugural Skein Press/Stinging Fly Play It Forward Fellows in 2022 so we are delighted to welcome him back this summer with his new collection of poetry. This is a hybrid event: Majed will be in Bantry in person and Kareem will join us remotely from the US. Majed will be assisted by interpreter, Mustafa Keshkeia, and Majed and Kareem will be in conversation with fellow poet Jessica Traynor.

Admission: €16

In a series of evocative vignettes, celebrated Iraqi poet Majed Mujed lyrically traverses the fraught landscapes of beauty, longing and resistance in a country at war. Intricately fusing political and personal histories, The Book of Trivialities speaks to the universal, undying quest for freedom that knows no borders or bounds. A profound, powerful sequence of verse from a poet who once lived through the heart of a revolution, and now lives for the revolutionary heart of love.


These poems, the bittersweet fruit of a malignant place and time, belie the lightness of their title by inviting us to remember the immensities behind them – war, suffering, love and death. Fleeting, disconnected, they feel like insights jotted on the run between here and there, Iraq and Ireland, by a man under pressure, anxious to leave behind him the gleanings of a life. Harry Clifton


The Book of Trivialities is part of Skein Press‘ Solstice Stories series. This series features creative collaborations between writers and visual artists, at least one of whom is from a background traditionally underrepresented in Irish literature and the arts, presented in the form of a high- quality book. It provides a unique developmental space to foster collaboration, with creativity and inclusiveness at its heart. The series is designed to be a celebration of the small, the brilliant, and the beautiful. Skein Press are publishing two of these bespoke books annually to mark the transformation, within and without, occurring on the solstice/equinox dates each year.



Majed Mujed

Majed Mujed was born in Iraq in 1971 and has lived in Ireland since 2015. One of the founders of the Iraqi House of Poetry, he worked as a journalist...

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Kareem James Abu-Zeid

Kareem James Abu-Zeid, PhD, is a freelance translator of poets and novelists from across the Arab world who translates from Arabic, French, and German. His work has won numerous awards...

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Jessica Traynor

Jessica Traynor was born in Dublin in 1984 and is a poet, essayist and librettist. Her debut collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award and in 2016...

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Mustafa Keshkeia

Mustafa Keshkeia is a translator and interpreter. He got his BA in English Literature and Language from Damascus University in 2006. Since then, he has been a professional translator and...

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