“Sometimes we have questions that seem to defy answers or even suppositions but then we find Love and Strange Horses to help us map out a course to continue loving life. A really wonderful, thoughtful read by an intriguing new voice.”
Nathalie Handal's Love and Strange Horses is riddled with provocative incantations that verge on a conjuring solidly based in this world and beyond. There's a subtle singing locked inside each poem that raises the stakes. This cosmopolitan voice belongs to the human family, and it luxuriates in crossing necessary borders. The pages are lit with scintillations that transport the reader to pithy zones of thought and pleasure.
Her irresistible charm comes through on every page as it does in person. It is a privilege to be able to read her verses . . . On every page is a discovery, and with every discovery, another one waiting. . . . Her distinctive poetic voice takes her around the globe. And indeed she should be celebrated and read.
Handal's lyric poetry is riddled with the music of questioning. What is strength? What is love? . . . Her poems do what poetry does best. They call us to question and own our humanity, clear-eyed, staunchly, regardless of culture, religion or gender—like a candle burning, softly vivid, a pure flame on the table of our global human tribe.
If you . . . enjoy reading poetry that challenges y our thinking, that makes your synapses fire and the brain's pleasure center sort of stand up and go 'Oooh,' then I highly recommend 'Love and Strange Horses.'
High-Octane poetry, anintense amd committed personal poetics . . . we should thank her for the space and energy of this book.
Trembles with belonging (and longing) and love and sex.
With a journalist's eye, a blind man's ear and a troubador's voice, Handal creates tableaus of lovers who seem always to be looking for love, even when they have found it. They yearn for love, approach it, confront it. She writes about the gentle pathos of love with the same fearlessness we find in her poems of exile, isolation and war.
A densely-textured book written by an unapologeticcally female (and feminine) perspective. As a young and inventive poet who sees herself as world citizen, Handal's insightful perspectives on the polarities of desire and love's potential for healing are not only heroic, they are valuable.
The ambition of this collection is perhaps the purest that lyric poetry claims, that of music's immediacy. . . . Handal poses unanswerable questions and then struggles with them. The struggle is more important than the correct answer.
Nathalie Handal was raised in Latin America, France and the Middle East, and educated in Asia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Her recent poetry books include the flash collection The Republics, winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing, and the Arab American Book Award; critically acclaimed Poet in Andalucía; and Love and Strange Horses, winner of the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award. She is the author of eight plays, editor of two anthologies, and her poetry, essays and creative nonfiction have appeared in Vanity Fair, Guernica Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Nation, The Irish Times, among others. Handal is the recipient of awards from The Lannan Foundation, Centro Andaluz de las Letras, Fondazione di Venezia, Emily Harvey Foundation, among others. Her work brings her to audiences globally. She is a professor at Columbia University, and writes the literary travel column “The City and the Writer” for Words without Borders magazine.learn more