Books by Aviva Butt

Gifts from an Empty Suitcase

Stories and poems describe the fate of worldwide refugees. The characters in Gifts from an Empty Suitcase and Other Short Stories: And Twenty Poems come from all walks of life, races and age groups. They are Arab, Jewish-American, Hispanic, Israeli, Japanese and Australian.

This fascinating collection of stories and poetry encompasses both East and West, describing how people try to survive in our turbulent times. In a world filled with tragedy and a growing refugee population, there is a surplus of sadness, but there is also joy.

Poems often complement the stories, and the last poem describes New Zealand, where the author now lives. Don’t travel on your journey through life without Gifts from an Empty Suitcase. View the Press Release


Poets From a War Torn World

The first two essays in Poets from a War Torn World are about mysticism in modern Arabic poetry. The second two essays are about literary philosophy in modern Hebrew poetry. All four essays focus on the 1960s and 1970s, a time when poets hoped that through their writings they could help bring peace to a war torn Middle East.

Reuven Snir’s introduction is in clear simple language. It provides background knowledge that will assist the general reader who has no previous knowledge of specifically Arabic or Hebrew poetry. Otherwise, the introduction and essays are of interest to scholars, students and the general reader, those interested in poetry, poetics or diverse cultures.

The four essays include Aviva Butt’s translations of entire poems, so the book also includes a collection of poems that are enjoyable to read.

The leading poets under discussion in the first three essays are Adunis (Adonis), Mahmud Darwish (Arabic poets) and Natan Zach (Hebrew poet). Rashid Husayn (Arabic poet) is also mentioned. The last essay, A Surge of Poetry, deals with the creativity of Hebrew poets Natan Zach, Yehuda Amichai, Meir Wieseltier and Asher Reich. Natan Alterman is also mentioned.

Since writing Poets from a War Torn World, Aviva Butt has published an article on the poet Mahmud Darwish [sic.] entitled “Sacred Texts and the Arabic Poetry of Mahmud Darwish” in the journal Archiv Orientalni, vol. 86, no.1. (Prague: 2018). Online: http://aror.orient.cas.cz/ . She is also translating the poems of Mahmud Darwish’s friend, Kurdish poet Salim Barakat. In keeping with this project, she has published a first article entitled “Empire, Split Ethnicities, and an Explosion of Poetry” in the Dergi International Journal of Kurdish Studies, Volume 4 – Issue 1 – Jan 2018. Online: http://ijoks.com/ DOI: 10.21600/ijoks.383376 , with a follow-up article on the same poet to appear in this journal in August 2018.

View press release.

On Screenwriting And Love and Politics

On Screenwriting and Love and Politics illuminates the emotions, theories, and process that go into crafting a screenplay. Written by screenwriter, author, and poet Aviva Butt, this eye-opening book takes an up close and personal look at the art of writing a movie script. Written in an engaging literary style, the book also includes the author’s latest full-length screenplay for adults, Blue Mist.

Aviva says, “I write about love and politics. My screenplays are theatrical feature films on Middle Eastern subjects. This time with my screenplay Blue Mist, the world situation and the Middle East come to New Zealand.”

On Screenwriting and Love and Politics also features an introduction from award-winning cinematographer Gaetano Nino Martinetti, who shares his views on the role of cinematography in making movies. As film great Orson Welles once said, “A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.” Since the author is also a poet, everything works out perfectly. View the Press Release