Tag Archives: Ghada Alatrash

World Poetry Cafe Show Presents Ghada Alatrash and Wanda John-Kehewin!

 The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show with hosts Ariadne Sawyer and Israel Mota welcomed two amazing and strong poets Ghada Alatrash and  Wanda-John Kehewin from different cultures and sharing some of the same truths in a powerful way. Ghada waited for five months to be on the show. World Poetry Lifetime Achievment Award Winner Vera Manuel blessed the show with her compelling and inspirational poem “When I First came To Know Myself“. The World Poetry Anthology 2001. To hear this groundbreaking show: CLICK HERE!

Featured Poet










Daughter of former Syrian Ambassador Jabr Alatrash, Ghada Alatrash immigrated with her family from Syria to the United States in 1986.  She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Oklahoma and is a translator from Arabic to English.  She is an Op/Ed Columnist for Gulf News, UAE, and worked previously as an Op/Ed Columnist for the Cranbrook Daily Townsman.    She taught English at Abu Dhabi Women’s College, UAE, and was formerly an Adjunct Lecturer of Arabic at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, USA.  She served as a Board Member for the Multicultural Advisory Board of British Columbia, Canada.  She is also a member of the New Pen League, New York.  She is also currently translating a collection of short stories for Syrian novelist Najat Abdul Samad. She resides in Cranbrook, BC.  



“And The Poem Remains”

Don’t you realize
that I have known you
since before your existence?

And, after the Earth was formed
we came to meet
as was predestined.

I patiently awaited
the slow beginning of time,
and then entered its passage
and travelled
in its eternal body
a thousand times
searching for you,

meanwhile you were next to me.
I asked all women about you
whilst you were all women.
I gazed at you
and savored you, 

and could not break away
from underneath your shade.

I entered your depths,
and scooped from
the depth of your depths,
but I remained unfulfilled,
while you became greener,
more fruitful.

There was no end
to your bread and water,
and the man in me
could not be quenched,
for in you
there is no end to women.

How does your loaf not lessen?
We eat from it
but it does not lessen!

We distance ourselves from you,
we turn away from you,
but after a short while,
we return
desiring more
of your coveted bread.
How is it
that while the nights age in us,
you remain untouched;
we wear you throughout the ages,
but like a rose in a poem,
you do not wither;
recited a thousand times,
it always remains new!

If Earth were to return to water
to water we would also return,
and the poem remains.


Featured Poet










Wanda John-Kehewin! was on the show and read her beautiful poems including the One Thousand Cranes  poem for the people of Japan. Come out for her book launch an celebrate her Empowered Poet Award at the World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival at UBC April 20th.  Contact ariadnes@uniserve.com for more information.

Summary of upcoming book:

“In The Dog House”, has been written for those who are First Nations who will understand pain and loss through forthright honesty. It has also been written for those who wish to understand about the effects of colonization on a personal level, through a First Nation woman’s perspective. The book contains raw honesty about the loss of culture and finding ways to adapt through reflection and stumbling upon ‘right’ answers. It discusses taboo topics like alcohol addiction, abandonment, religion, sexual abuse and trying to understand it all through the creative writing process and finally giving up the shame and stigma.

“In The Dog House”, is a healing journey of sorts, a way of standing in my truth and a way to give others, like my mother a voice. It is about the love of Mother Nature and the quest for love even when I don’t understand what it is. Can anyone really describe a normal kind of love or a love so perfect without ever having had an example? This book touches on a bit of everything in my being as a First Nations woman searching for the truth and a way to be set free from the past.

The influences to write this book have been my children and the lost children who have lost a parent or both as a way to delve into another’s pain and bring about understanding so the abandonment is not personal anymore, but a life lesson in strength, understanding and leaving space for personal growth for oneself and for future generations. I have also been influenced by friends whose stories are so like my own that I can find the strength to be raw and honest and know I am not alone and that we relate to other human beings through pain, suffering and loss.

Links to her upcoming book:




Link to the Bio: at Talonbooks



World Poetry Proudly Presents Syrian Canadian Ghada Alatrash!

Featured Poet










Ariadne writes: we want to welcome a new World Poetry Member, the talented translator and poet Ghada Alatrash!  Her poem “The Art Teacher” made such an impression on me that whenever I saw a pomegranate , I wanted to buy it and look for its mystery.


So That the Poem Remains.








So That the Poem Remains: Arabic Poems by Lebanese-American Youssef Abdul Samad, Selected and Translated by Ghada Alatrash. 

“Through my translation, I am attempting to build bridges between East and to fill in the gap of the almost total absence of an Arab cultural or literal position in the West.

Here is a note from the back cover of my book: Daughter of former Syrian Ambassador Jabr Al-Atrash, GHADA ALATRASH immigrated with her family from Syria to the United States in 1986. She holds a Master of Arts in English from University of Oklahoma, USA. She is an op/ed columnist for Gulf News, UAE, and was previously op/ed columnist for the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. She taught English at Abu Dhabi Women’s College, UAE, and was an Adjunct Lecturer of Arabic at University of Oklahoma. She has served as a board member for the Multicultural Advisory Board of British Columbia, Canada. She is a member of the New Pen League, New York. She currently resides in BC, Canada.

…Like a rose in a poem, you do not wither; recited a thousand times, it always remains new. If Earth were to return to water, to water we would also return, and the poem remains. – Youssef Abdul Samad

And it is so that the poem remains, so that the young can better understand the old, and so that there is universal harmony and connectedness between East and West, I present my readers with this work of translation.” Ghada Alatrash

“The Art Teacher”

Once, my art teacher said to me:
“Draw the moon for us;”
and I replied,
“But I do not trust
the moody moon.”

So I began to draw grapes
then I plucked them,
puzzled by those who say,
“a bunch of grapes
taste like watered wine!”

I sketched a turtle;
I pencilled in a rabbit;
and I drew a beautiful bird
with feathers colored
like the pupil of an eye.

Furious, my teacher demanded:
“Draw the moon for us!”
But instead
a pomegranate appeared,
glittering like the sun.

Outraged, she yelled,
“You failed!”
…O how I long
for a pomegranate
to fall from a branch of our tree!

I thought for long
about her
—my teacher—
on whose breasts
the basil camped.

For I,
I worship pomegranate trees,
under whose shade
I used to sleep
as I felt restless.

While I plucked them,
their fire burned me,
and the burn-scars
still remain
after the years.

I drew a lemon tree
on a piece of paper,
and from its radiance,
the leaves almost budded.

I drew two pomegranates of fire,
and I tasted them—
You who dwell in fire,
believe it when they say
that fire can be such delight.

I still call to mind
their nudity
and I muse over them.
For, …
a harvester is lustful.

How is it
that pomegranate seasons
never come to an end,
nor does their
overflowing blood ever burst?

How is it
that they do not gush
while we eat them?
And how is it that
we do not see their fire as they burn?

I confess
that it was I
who plucked that harvest
and bashfully kept it secret,
but steal it, I did not!

Ghada Alatrash (C)