For Echo – Omar Sabbagh
Published in March 2024. Pre-order your early copy now.
In each new collection Omar Sabbagh reaches higher and deeper and For Echo is no exception. Writing in the preface to the collection Omar talks about how his best poems, the most real are those which he writes ‘not as myself but as the person ‘who I’d like to be.’ These poems represent, ‘a kind of reaching-forth.’ And this is the hallmark of all great art, the reaching beyond what we are, even if it constantly feels impossible. In these poignant, intelligent, transformative poems, Omar Sabbagh is reaching towards ‘the person who I’d like to be’. Who is that person? Read For Echo and you’ll be delighted to find out.
For Echo is a thought-provoking collection that delves into the depths of human emotions, relationships, and the power of language and art. These poems plumb the depths of the struggle of the human condition, often depicting a sense of longing, loss, and the search for meaning. They highlight the consequences of missed opportunities, the weight of regret, and the realization of one’s own limitations. The poems also explore the transformative power of love and the profound impact it can have on an individual’s life. The relationship between the poet and his daughter, Alia, is a recurring theme throughout the collection. These poems convey a sense of love, pride, and the desire to protect and nurture the poet’s daughter as she navigates her own path in life. Through rich imagery and introspective reflections, Omar Sabbagh invites readers to contemplate the complexities of existence and the transformative power of art and self-expression.
Adam Wyeth, Associate Artist, Civic Theatre Dublin
It’s always gripping when a writer turns the textual mirror on himself and starts to reflect on his own identity. For Echo is both a highly original poetry collection and a fascinating self-portrait. In it, Omar Sabbagh uses poetry and prose to challenge and dissect his own psyche: an examination more immediate and intimate than any scenes from a life. If Sabbagh’s Echo is perhaps the ideal reader, in this book he allows us to see through an exceptional mind’s eye. There we glimpse the poet as he turns towards, and away from, the mirror.
Listen to Omar reading one of his favourite pieces from the book ‘The Wish’, videod at the American University in Dubai.
Dr. Omar Sabbagh is a widely published poet and critic. His work has appeared in, amongst others, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, The London Magazine, Lighthouse, and Envoi. He has published several poetry collections with Cinnamon Press, including, But It Was an Important Failure, To the Middle of Love, Morning Lit: portals after Alia, and his moving and vital pamphlet RIP: Poems after Gaza & Words after Waddah, as well as this debut fiction novella, Via Negativa — a parable of exile. He has published critical essays on a number of writers, including George Eliot, Lawrence Durrell, and Henry Miller. Omar has a PhD in English Literature from King’s College London and is presently an Associate Professor in English at the American University in Dubai.