Jessica Rohan Naomi Shihab Nye

Poetry is not a crime: Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye on the campaign to free Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour by The Warscapes Podcast

Award-winning writer Naomi Shihab Nye on the campaign to free Dareen Tatour, the Palestinian poet under house arrest for writing a poem and a Facebook post.

On October 11th, 2015, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was arrested before dawn at her home near Nazareth. The Israeli police officers entered her home without a warrant because of a poem posted to Youtube, and a post on Facebook that authorities say she wrote.

Tatour spent 3 months in prison before being put under house arrest in Tel Aviv, far from her family home. In July, Dareen was allowed to continue serving her house arrest with her family. The decision came after an open letter signed by more than 250 prominent artists and intellectuals calling for Tatour’s release, including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Susan Abulhawa, and 10 Pulitzer Prize winners. To date, the letter has been signed by more than 300 renowned literary figures, and garnered more than 7,500 signatures in total.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author of numerous works of poetry and fiction; her most recent novel is entitled The Turtle of Oman. Shihab recently wrote a poem dedicated to Dareen Tatour, called Talking Forever.

Dareen Tatour’s next court date is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6th; her supporters hope that the growing solidarity campaign will continue to have a favorable impact on Dareen’s case.

To learn more about Dareen’s story, and to sign the open letter, visit