The Library at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) organized an interactive talk with Yousef Nayef, an AUK student, in honor of the release of his first poetry collection, Awwal Al Q'itaaf (The First Harvest). The talk, moderated by Laila Abdal - an English Literature student, featured an interview with the writer and a monodrama performance.
Abdal introduced Nayef as a young, Arab poet and a promising actor. As a student, he had participated in several poetry readings and thirteen theatrical productions since 2007, mostly at AUK, in such productions as Waiting for Godot (2010), Antigone (2015), and most recently Arabian Nights (2015).
Nayef began his talk by explaining the title of his book and how it was influenced by his grandfather, who is, also, a writer of classical Arabic poetry. His grandfather had named his second-to-last poetry collection Aakhir Al Q'itaaf (The Last Harvest), so Nayef chose the title of his first book as a continuation of this legacy.
Awwal Al Q'itaaf contains 180 short poems, written in the Arabic language, that discuss such universal themes as love, loneliness, estrangement and sadness. It took Nayef more than half a year to complete the poems and arrange them for his book, which is now available for purchase at Dar AlFarasha, or from the author personally.
Towards the end of his talk, Nayef urged young writers to read and write. "Be prolific, be experimental, and try poetry, prose, a novel or a play, until you find where your true talent lies", he said. "Practice more than what you publish, but don't take too long to publish your first book. The most important thing is to never stop writing, even if you don't write a single word and just look at the paper in front of you, at least you are thinking about writing".
Following the talk, Nayef performed a monodrama for the attendees, after which he engaged with the audience in a Q&A session and signed copies of his book. Nayef's next goal is to publish a collection of translated plays, mostly monodramas, and stage them in Kuwait.
Images from the event
Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 23rd December 2015
Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015