Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
Before the Next Bomb Drops
Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine
Before the Next Bomb Drops explores the Israeli occupation of Palestine and US militarism through a poetic lens.
we are the boat / returning to dock / we are the footprints / on the northern trail / we are the iron / coloring the soil / we cannot / be erased
—from “Refugee"

Remi Kanazi's poetry presents an unflinching look at the lives of Palestinians under occupation and as refugees scattered across the globe. He captures the Palestinian people's stubborn refusal to be erased, gives voice to the ongoing struggle for liberation, and explores the meaning of international solidarity.

In this latest collection, Kanazi expands his focus outside the sphere of Palestine and presents pieces examining racism in America, police brutality, US militarism at home and wars abroad, conflict voyeurism, Islamophobia, and a range of other issues.
  • "Remi Kanazi is one of the most courageous voices of this generation. Before the Next Bomb Drops is a beautiful but urgent clarion call for freedom, justice, and resistance in every pocket of the world, from occupied Palestine to gentrified Brooklyn. Read this book and prepare to be inspired, enlightened, and emboldened."
    –Marc Lamont Hill, CNN commentator and host of HuffPost Live and BET News

    "Here is how I consumed Before the Next Bomb Drops: I'd read a page, then put it down, walk around the room for 30 seconds, then another page followed by another mental health break, and then I'd repeat this ritual. This book of poetry was devastating to pick up and impossible to put down. Remi Kanazi has graced us with poems that are an antidote to cynicism and a searing call of urgency for the human rights struggle of our times. If you are immersed in the struggle for Palestinian lives, your collection of literature is incomplete without this. But if you love poetry and know nothing of the Middle East, I also could not recommend a better book. Remi Kanazi has raised the bar for how art and politics can serve one another for the greater good."
    –Dave Zirin, The Nation

    "This is by far Remi Kanazi's best and most mature work. It is also his funniest, saddest and most uplifting. His poems evoke places from Brooklyn to Gaza, and he travels in time from 1948 to a present sometimes experienced through images on a smartphone flitting past desensitized eyes. Writing the lyrics of a movement, Kanazi aims upwards at the powerful and inwards, challenging our own complacency. His rhymes and rhythms, filled with sharp wit, irony and deep empathy, are a great joy to read even as they tackle some of the most urgent political struggles of our day."
    –Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine

    "Remi’s verse is a series of indignant letters to the passersby of our historical moment who thought they were minding their own business but who, in fact, are perpetuating the problem with their privileged complicity. Each verse made me sink deeper into my chair and helped unleash a cascade of relieving tears: in anger, in mourning, and in hope."
    –Noura Erakat, George Mason University and Human Rights Attorney

    "One picture is worth one thousand words they used to say with regard to Palestine and its suffering throughout the ages. This wonderful, elegant and moving book will convince you that one poem is worth one thousand words and many pictures. It is a poetic, and very accessible, personal journey into the past and present of Palestine that will resonate with anyone concerned with the land and its people."
    –Ilan Pappé, bestselling author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

    "Remi Kanazi asks whether his words 'hurt more than bombs dropped on Gaza?' They may not, but his words, which combine art with a burning desire to narrate, to shout, to shake, to shame and to humanize, create a lasting, almost self-regenerating mind image of the bombs dropped, the houses demolished and the communities uprooted. Kanazi's haunting poems are not written to be consumed; they reserve a place in one's conscience, in one's memory, and–hopefully–in one's praxis."
    –Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement

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