Episode 9: Yahia Lababidi - Practicing Faith in Art, Practicing Art in Faith

Photo: Logan Werlinger

Photo: Logan Werlinger

Yahia Lababidi is an Egyptian-Lebanese poet, writer, and aphorist. He grew up in Egypt, attended university in the states and eventually moved there later in life and is still based in Florida to this day. He has written several critically acclaimed books including his first book of aphorisms, Signposts to Elsewhere and a collection of poetry, Balancing Acts, that came in as number 1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases list. His newest compilation of aphorisms is titled Where Epics fail: Meditations to Live By and has already been featured on PBS’s Newshour. His books have been translated into nine different languages and he has participated in international poetry festivals around the world. Yahia is a collector of words and wisdom and has a way with using language to enlighten and inspire.

In this slightly longer, beautiful spiral of a conversation, we talk about the F word in art: Faith.

We discuss Yahia’s literary background, displacement and the concept of formulating your own creative home, the difference between writing prose, poetry and aphorisms, and the beauty and terror of having an artistic calling. Within the realm of callings, we also delve into the image of the suffering artist and the deep connectedness of faith and art. Yahia is a passionate and thoughtful conversationalist and our conversation took me to new depths of exploring the mystery and spirit of the creative process. My hope is that it does the same for you.

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NOtes

-BOOKS:
Where Epics Fail- (Unbound publishing or Amazon)
Signposts to Elsewhere (soon to be reissued)
Balancing Acts (Press 53 or Amazon)
The Artist as Mystic - Conversations with Alex Stein

-If you want to get in touch with Yahia, here are his instagram and twitter accounts
-”Seeking the Light Through Literature,” a guest-edited issue by Yahia of World Literature Today
-On Being podcast, plus here are a couple pieces he’s written for them
-Khalil Gilbran (The Prophet, Sand and Foam)
-The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
-Sinead O’Conner “reverting” to Islam
-A list of books by Rumi
-Karen Armstrong - On Being Interview (how I had heard of her)


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