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Digital Subscriptions > Boston Review > Allies (Fall 2019) > ‘ALAMS FROM THE BLACK HORSE PRISON, TRIPOLI, CIRCA 1981

‘ALAMS FROM THE BLACK HORSE PRISON, TRIPOLI, CIRCA 1981

Author’s Note (poems on reverse):

‘Alams are short poems composed and chanted by Bedouin poets of eastern Libya and western Egypt. Unrhymed short phrases, ‘alams are pithy statements often quoted in daily conversation to express an individual’s immediate circumstances. ‘Alams are also called ghinawat (little songs). For more on the form, see Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (1986).

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About Boston Review

Allies is the first publication of Boston Review's newly inaugurated Arts in Society department. A radical revisioning of the magazine's poetry and fiction, the department unites them—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—under a project that explores how the arts can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our age, from growing inequality to racial and gender regimes, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.