Yahia Lababidi is the author, most recently, of Desert Songs (Rowayat, 2022) & Learning to Pray: a Book of Longing (Kelsay Books, 2021). Prior to that, Lababidi published Revolutions of the Heart (Wipf & Stock, 2020) a genre-bending collection of essays & conversations. He is, also, the author of 2 critically-acclaimed books of aphorisms: Signposts to Elsewhere (2019) and Where Epics Fail (2018).
Featured on PBS NewsHour, Lababidi's short meditations were generously endorsed by President Barack Obama's inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, who wrote: "Aphorisms are an ancient form, but its current-day master is Yahia Lababidi." Signposts was selected as a Book of the Year by The Independent (UK) and issued by Hay House, publishers of Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson.
Lababidi, Egyptian-American thinker/poet, and author of 5 other well-received books of poetry and prose, has been invited to speak at Oxford University and NPR as well as being featured in Best American Poetry, World Literature Today, On Being with Krista Tippett, The Guardian and Al Jazeera, among several other esteemed cultural outlets.
Lababidi's BALANCING ACTS: New & Selected Poems (1993-2015), published by Press 53, is a celebration of more than twenty years of his poetry. According to Chard deNiord, Poet Laureate of Vermont, it 'resonates in plain-spoken yet dazzling poetry--sometimes epigrammatic, sometimes expansive--that betrays the eclectic transmissions of Lababidi's myriad influences, from Rumi to Kierkegaard, Dickinson to Kafka.'
Also by Lababidi is an eclectic collection of cultural essays, TRIAL BY INK: From Nietzsche to Belly Dancing as well as two poetry volumes, FEVER DREAMS and BARELY THERE, a collection of his shorter verse, much of which was inspired by the constraints of social media and touches on the life of the spirit. Along with Alex Stein, he is also the co-author of a genre-bending book, THE ARTIST AS MYSTIC: Conversations with Yahia Lababidi.
Lababidi's work appears in numerous anthologies, including Short Flights (Schaffner Press, 2015) a unique anthology that draws together the work and musings of 32 leading pioneers of short-form writing, or aphorisms. He is the only contemporary Arab writer in the encyclopedia: Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists, and the youngest poet included in the best-selling US college textbook, Literature: an Introduction to Reading and Writing (10th edition).
Lababidi was one of twenty-two powerful voices, from poets and novelists to actors to take part in the activist anthology: Small Blows Against Encroaching Totalitarianism Vol. 1 (McSweeney's, 2018). He is also one of around a dozen distinguished artists and thinkers featured in the anthology, Masks: Bowie & Artists of Artifice (Intellect Books, 2020) alongside artists and thinkers such as: Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Gary Valentine (founding member of the New Wave band, Blondie).
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, three times, Lababidi's writing has been translated into several languages, including: Arabic, Hebrew, Slovak, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish. Otherwise, several video-poems based on his work, have been shown at film festivals, worldwide, while he has participated in international poetry festivals throughout the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
Lababidi was chosen as a Juror for the 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature – a biennial award widely considered to be the most prestigious international literary prize after the Nobel Prize in Literature.
For more information, please visit: http://www.pw.org/content/yahia_lababidi
To hear Yahia Lababidi read some of his favorite poems, please, visit his Soundcloud page.