Shimon is in New York this week, and I asked him over coffee whether he thinks of himself more as a poet or a novelist or simply as a writer. Simply as a writer, he said. He used to be in a band and still collaborates with musicans—any medium of expression will do. But, he added, poetry and prose come from very different places for him.
When he writes fiction, he said, he thinks that words are sufficient to say what he has to say. However, when he begins to feel that words are not enough, and will never be enough, then he writes poetry.
You can read the two poems from our next issue here.
PS. Also featured this week on PEN.org are poems by Fady Joudah and Mahmoud Darwish and fiction by Rabih Alameddine.