Naseer Hassan

Naseer HASSAN (poet, translator; Iraq) is an Iraqi poet and translator of poetry and philosophy. He was born in Baghdad in 1962 and graduated with a degree in architecture from Baghdad University. He also was a member of the Iraqi Chess Team. He is a member of the Iraqi Writers Union and the Iraqi Journalists Guild and has published four poetry collections in Arabic: [The Circle of Sundial] (1998), [Suggested Signs] (2007), [Being Here] (2008), and [Dayplaces] (2010). Hassan's collected poems appeared in 2010 from the Arabic Publishing House in Beirut. He has translated into Arabic three books of poetry and one of philosophy: [Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems and Critical Readings] (the first book on Emily Dickinson in Arabic); [Luis Borges: 60 Selected Poems]; [Days of the Shore: Selections from the New American Poetry 1980-2010]; and [Asian Philosophies by John Koller]. In addition, he has several poetic and philosophical translations forthcoming, including [Kierkegaard: A Brief Introduction], [Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation (Book 1)], and [House of the Star: Poems from Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes].

Hassan rarely left Iraq during the wars and tragedies that Iraq endured. He lived through all the major wars before 2003 and after, lost many close friends and relatives, and was more than once in imminent danger himself. Despite this, he doesn't express this life experience in a direct way, but rather in a contemplative tone, trying to merge the local with the universal, the sensual with the philosophical, and the temporal with the eternal, inventing meanwhile new poetic forms. He is a winner of the 2008 David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for working in a highly dangerous situation as a member of the Baghdad Bureau of Radio Free Iraq, where some of his colleagues were kidnapped or assassinated.