The Books

A New Divan:
A Lyrical Dialogue between East & West

Edited by 
Barbara Schwepcke 
Bill Swainson

Forewords by
Daniel Barenboim
Mariam C. Said

Published in honour of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the 200th anniversary of the first publication of his West-Eastern Divan (1819), A New Divan contains outstanding new poems by twenty-four leading poets, twelve from the East and twelve from the West, and presents a truly international poetic dialogue inspired by the culture of the Other and Goethe’s late, great work. Writing in Arabic, English, French, German, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Slovenian, and Turkish, each pair of poets has responded to one of the themes of the twelve books of Goethe’s Divan. Working either directly with the original poets or via a bridge translation, the twenty-two English-language poets have created poems that draw on the poetic forms and cultures of the poets taking part. Three pairs of essays enhance and complement the poems, mirroring Goethe’s original ‘Notes and Essays for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan’.

Eastern PoetsEnglish-Language Poets
Abbas Beydoun (Lebanon)Bill Manhire
Adonis (Syria)Khaled Mattawa
Fadhil Al-Azzawi (Iraq)Jorie Graham
Amjad Nasser (Jordan)Fady Joudah
Fatemeh Shams (Iran)Dick Davis
Gonca Özmen (Turkey)Jo Shapcott
Hafez Mousavi (Iran)Daisy Fried
Iman Mersal (Egypt)Elaine Feinstein
Mohammed Bennis (Morocco)Sinéad Morrissey
Mourid Barghouti (Palestine)George Szirtes
Nujoom Al-Ghanem (UAE)Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Reza Mohammadi (Afghanistan)Nick Laird
Western PoetsEnglish-Language Poets
Antonella Anedda (Italy)Jamie McKendrick
Homero Aridjis (Mexico)Kathleen Jamie
Angélica Freitas (Brazil)Tara Bergin
Durs Grünbein (Germany)Matthew Sweeney
Clara Janés (Spain)Lavinia Greenlaw
Jaan Kaplinski (Estonia)Sasha Dugdale
Khaled Mattawa (USA)
Gilles Ortlieb (France)Sean O’Brien
Don Paterson (UK)
Raoul Schrott (Austria)Paul Farley
Aleš Šteger (Slovenia)Brian Henry
Jan Wagner (Germany)Robin Robertson

Buy the New Divan

West-Eastern Divan:
Complete, annotated new translation, including Goethe’s ‘Notes and Essays’ & the unpublished poems

Written by 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Translated and edited by 
Eric Orsmby


In 1814, Goethe read the poems of the great fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz in a newly published translation by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall. The book was a revelation. He called Hafiz his twin and was immediately inspired to create a Divan of his own. At the same time he met Marianne von Willemer, with whom he rapidly fell in love. She became the Suleika to his Hatem and a conversation begun with Hafiz blossomed into a duet for two lovers.

In this much awaited new translation, Eric Ormsby’s clear prose is accompanied by explanatory notes of both the verse in German and in English and of Goethe’s own commentary, the ‘Notes and Essays for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan’.

Buy the West-Eastern Divan