Yahia Lababidi (September 25, 1973), Egyptian-Lebanese-American, is the author of 9 books of poetry and prose. Lababidi's latest, REVOLUTIONS OF THE HEART (2020) is an eclectic collection of essays and conversations, at the intersection of literature, social activism and mysticism. Prior to that, he published 2 critically-acclaimed books of aphorisms: SIGNPOSTS TO ELSEWHERE (2019) and WHERE EPICS FAIL (2018).
Featured on PBS NewsHour, Lababidi's short meditations were generously endorsed by President Barack Obama's inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, who wrote: "Aphorisms are an ancient form, but its current-day master is Yahia Lababidi." Signposts was selected as a Book of the Year by The Independent (UK) and issued by Hay House, publishers of Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson.
Lababidi, a public intellectual, has been invited to speak at Oxford University and NPR as well as being featured in Best American Poetry, World Literature Today, On Being with Krista Tippett, The Guardian and Al Jazeera, among several other respected cultural outlets.
His work has been quoted during worship services, in classrooms and gone viral, online. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, three times, Lababidi's writing has been translated into several languages, including: Arabic, Hebrew, Slovak, Hungarian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish. Otherwise, several video-poems based on his work, have been shown at film festivals, worldwide, while Lababidi has participated in international poetry festivals throughout the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
Lababidi was chosen as a Juror for the 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature - a biennial award widely considered to be the most prestigious international literary prize after the Nobel Prize in Literature.
- A good listener is one who helps us overhear ourselves.
- With enigmatic clarity, Life gives us a different answer each time we ask her the same question.
- The thoughts we choose to act upon define us to others, the ones we do not define us to ourselves.
- Temptation: seeds we are forbidden to water, that are showered with rain.
- Impulses we attempt to strangle only develop stronger muscles.
- Ambiguity: the bastard child of creativity and cowardice.
- In life, as in love, graceful leave-taking is the epitome of gratitude.
- Miracles are proud creatures; they will not reveal themselves to those who do not Believe.
- To be treated with mercy, some must reveal their handicaps, while others must conceal them.
- To hurry pain is to leave a classroom still in session.
- To prolong pain is to miss the next lesson.
- Like cars in an amusement park, our direction is often determined through collisions.
- The personal made universal is art’s truth.
- Take two opposites, connect the dots, and you have a straight line.
- Romantic: one who professes to prefer the thorns to the rose.
"Aphorisms on Art, Morality and Spirit" (2013)Edit
- in The Elephant Journal, Nov 3, 2013
- Aphorisms respect the wisdom of silence by disturbing it, but briefly.
- To maintain immaculate speech, often times silence is required.
- Hope is more patient than despair and so outlasts it.
- Egyptian Poet: Voice of Our Global Uncertainties (The Star, 2020)
- PBS NewsHour Profile of Lababidi
- An Evening with Yahia Lababidi in Austin, Texas (video)
- Reverence for the Visible and Invisible Worlds, On Being with Krista Tippett Blog