Fatima Naoot

Fatima Naoot is an Egyptian poet, translator and architect. Born in Cairo in 1964, she studied architecture at the Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University. Following her graduation in 1987, she worked as an architect  for Sabbour Consultants for ten years. Then she decided to abandon her career as an architect to fulfill her dream of becoming a poet, devoting herself to  literature full time.

Naoot has published twelve books to date, seven of which are collections of poems, including »Naqrat isba’« (2002, tr: Finger’s Pat), »’ala bu’d sintimitir wahid min al-ard « (2003, tr: A Centimeter Far from the Ground), » Fawqa kaff imra’a« (2004, tr: Upon a Woman’s Palm), » Haykal az-zahr«(2007, tr: Frame of Dice), and »Ismi laysa sa’ban« (2009, tr: My ’ala bu’d sintimitir wahid min al-ard Kaf noun publishing house Kairo, 2003 Qita’ tuli fi – adh – dhakira The Egyptian general organization for books Kairo, 2003 Fawqa kaff imra’a Ministry of education in Yemen, and The Egyptian general organization of books Kairo, 2004 Haykal az-zahr Alnahda Alarabia Publishing house Beirut, 2007 A bottle of glue Dar Nadwa Press Hong Kong, 2007 Ismi laysa sa’ban Aldar publishing house Kairo, 2009Name is Not Difficult). She has also published four anthologies of poetry translated from English, two books of criticism, and collection of her articles from Egyptian newspapers.

»More like a child struck by amazement, the Egyptian poet Fatima Naoot creeps  inside her text, discovering it hand in hand with the reader and bringing back the freshness of first instances to the world around her by asking those first questions that are, ultimately, the major existential questions«.  The Lebanese poet Zainab Assaf comments on her poetry: »Fatima Naoot likes to conceal her dreams beneath old platforms. From time to time, she falls back to make sure that her dreams are still there. They are the dreams of innocence, of childhood that she does not want to end as the last remaining island where poetry has its place.  Naoot sees in poetry the fight against destiny, a fight that must continue even after poets pass away«. Assaf continues: »I cannot find a difference between the ego and the other in her poems, as she immerses herself in her poems with the other in common concerns, without losing her individuality which is the cornerstone of any poetic experience. In such meaning, this poet has an existential brotherhood with the other, which is  her tolerance of herself«.

In 2006,  with the manuscript of her fifth collection of poems »Qarurat samgh«  Naoot won  the Arabic Poetry Prize in Hong Kong, organized by Arabic Nadwa website in Hong Kong. The collection has subsequently been translated both into Chinese and English (Engl: A bottle of glue, 2007).

Naoot has appeared at  many international literary and poetry festivals, such as the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Moutanabbi International Poetry Festival in Zurich,and the Rotterdam International Poetry Festival in 2007. Fatima Naoot lives in Cairo.

© international literature festival berlin