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Busboys Books Presents: Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by Refugees

By: | posted on: Apr 17, 2019

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Date(s) - 04/17/2019
6:30 pm

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WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

oin Busboys and Poets Books for an evening with co-editor of Making MirrorsBecky Thompson in conversation with writer and activist E. Ethelbert Miller as well as two featured poets, Zeina Azzam and Sharif Elmusa.

Copies of Making Mirrors will be available for purchase in our bookstore. The full food and bar menu will be available during the event. This is a free event, no tickets required.

Making Mirrors began on two continents, envisioned by Palestinian poet and aid worker, Jehan Bseiso, and Becky Thompson, a US-based poet changed by months of greeting refugees after their perilous journey across the Aegean Sea.

This anthology uses mirrors to reflect imagistic connections that allow us to see ourselves in each other, those on rafts and those standing on the shore, those waiting/writing in detention and those writing from places of relative safety, those who lift their children to the sky and those whose bodies are at the bottom of the sea.

Making Mirrors offers a poetics of belonging—to the earth, family, and memories packed into backpacks. The poems go beyond refugee/citizen binaries and illuminate exile as a forced/creative space.

As the refugee crisis fades from the front page of newspapers, this collection is a plea against historical amnesia and inertia; the poems are an antidote that reaches beyond despair to renewed action.

Becky Thompson, Ph.D., scholar, yogi, professor and poet, is the author of multiple books, most recently, Teaching with Tenderness and Zero is the Whole I Fall into at Night(poetry). Becky’s writing and activism have been recognized with honors from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the Gustavus Myers Award for Outstanding Books on Human Rights, and the Creative Justice Chapbook Poetry Prize. She has taught at China Women’s University, Duke University, the University of Colorado, and Wesleyan University and is currently Professor of Sociology at Simmons University in the US. Since 2015, Becky has been traveling to Greece, meeting rafts, walking with refugees, documenting human rights violations, and teaching poetry workshops. She leads yoga, creative writing and social justice work-shops in China, Thailand, and the US. For more about her work please see: http://beckythompsonyoga.com.

Zeina Azzam is a Palestinian American writer, editor, poet, and activist. She volunteers for organizations that promote Palestinian human rights and civil rights of vulnerable communities in Alexandria, Virginia, where she lives. Zeina holds an M.A. in Arabic literature.

Sharif S. Elmusa is the author of Flawed Landscape: Poems 1987-2008, and co-editor of Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry. Elmusa taught at the American University in Cairo, and as a visitor at Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar and at Yale University. He grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp, and lives in Nacotchank, now Washington, D.C.

E. Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his work. Miller is host of the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and host and producer of The Scholars on UDC-TV. In recent years, he has been inducted into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame, awarded the 2016 AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, and the 2016 DCMayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor.In 2018, Miller was appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. His most recent book is If God Invented Baseball, published by City Point Press.

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