Etel Adnan

  • Zaha Hadid, 2012. Photo: Yvette Wohn.
    passages May 10, 2016

    Zaha Hadid (1950–2016)

    I AM IMMENSELY SAD about the loss of my friend and long-term collaborator Zaha Hadid, who was a trustee of the Serpentine Galleries for twenty years. Her contribution to architecture cannot be overstated. She once told me “there should be no end to experimentation,” and it’s this principle that drove her buildings to make a significant impact on cities all around the world.

    I am honored to have collaborated with Hadid on numerous occasions. When I visited her for the first time, at the end of the 1990s, I was still living in Paris. A typical London cab picked me up from the airport and brought

  • Etel Adnan

    In 1981, while I was staying briefly in Paris, I received an invitation to read my poetry in Amsterdam. This was my first reading ever. Joining me on stage was a young, good-looking poet, maybe as intimidated as I was: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. We met many more times over the years, and I developed an affinity for her that defies space and time.

    Every collection of poems by Berssenbrugge is a literary step forward. Hello, the Roses (New Directions), however, performs a quantum leap. The book is exhilarating. Berssenbrugge’s attentiveness to the flow of reality has heightened, and she retains her