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Writers for Palestine: AWP Offsite

Writers for Palestine: AWP Offsite

Date(s) - 02/07/2024
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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Epperson Auditorium


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About this event

To kick off AWP 2024, join us in centering Palestine in our hearts and minds at an offsite reading at the Kansas City Art Institute.

To kick off AWP 2024, join us in centering Palestine in our hearts and minds at an offsite reading at the Kansas City Art Institute, presented by Mizna and copresented with RAWIAl-Hadaf, and WAWOG.

Featured readers include Issam Zineh, Kamelya Omayma Youssef, Abdelrahman ElGendy, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Zeyn Joukhadar, Willie Nour, Mona Kareem, Moheb Soliman, Andrea Abi-Karam, Elina Katrin, Kazim Ali, and more.

The event will take place at the Kansas City Art Institute’s Epperson Auditorium, which is located within Vanderslice Hall on campus. Doors will open at 6:30 and space is limited. We strongly encourage RSVPing, but walk-ins will be welcome if space is available.

We also invite you to visit Mizna and RAWI at the AWP bookfair (booth # 1431), at the Arab American Caucus on Friday, or at our Saturday featured event with Iman Mersal and Noor Naga.


Issam Zineh is a Palestinian-American poet and scientist and author of Unceded Land (Trio House Press, 2022), finalist for the Medal Provocateur, Housatonic Book Award, and Balcones Prize. His poems appear in AGNI, Guernica, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. He lives and benefits from being a settler on Paskestikweya land.

Kamelya Omayma Youssef is the author of A book with a hole in it (Wendy’s Subway, 2022). Her homes are Dearborn, Baalbek, South Lebanon, and Brooklyn, and she currently teaches at The New School. She and you will see a free Palestine in this lifetime.

Abdelrahman ElGendy is an Egyptian writer whose work engages with counter-narratives of history as a form of resistance to erasure. A Dietrich fellow at the University of Pittsburgh’s Nonfiction Writing MFA, his work appears in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, AGNI, Truthout, Mada Masr and elsewhere.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of three books, Water & Salt, winner of the 2018 Washington State Book Award, Kaan and Her Sisters (Trio House, 2023), and Something About Living, winner of the 2022 Akron Prize, from University of Akron Press. She was the curator of the 2022 translation series Poems from Palestine for the Baffler magazine. In 2024 she is editing the series Palestinian Voices for Words Without Borders. To learn more about her work, visit her web site

Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the Lambda Literary- and Stonewall Book Award-winning novel The Thirty Names of Night and The Map of Salt and Stars. His work has appeared in Electric Literature, Salon, Mizna, and elsewhere. Joukhadar serves on the RAWI board and mentors writers of color with the Periplus Collective.

Willie Nour is a queer Palestinian poet and playwright. Born to a Christian family in Nazareth after their village of Almujaydel was bulldozed during the 1948 Nakba. His work appears in Mizna and pending anthology Ask the Night for a Dream, by Palestine Writes Press. Willie lives with his husband of 28 years in south Minneapolis. In his life and in his writing he seeks truths in his connections with other animate and inanimate objects. So far he has seen glimpses but the truth remains illusive.

Mona Kareem is the author of three poetry collections. Her poetry has been translated into English by Sara El-Kamel and published under the title I Will Not Fold These Maps by the Poetry Translation Center in London. She is a recipient of a 2021 literary grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is an assistant professor of Arabic Literature at Washington University St. Louis. She held fellowships and residencies with Princeton University, Tufts University, Poetry International, Arab-American National Museum, Norwich Center, and Forum Transregionale Studien. Her translations include Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within (nominated for a BTBA award), Ra’ad Abdulqadir’s Except for this Unseen Thread, and an Arabic translation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred.

Moheb Soliman is an interdisciplinary poet from Egypt and the Midwest who’s presented work at literary, art, and public spaces in North America and abroad with support from diverse institutions. His critically recognized debut poetry collection, HOMES, explores nature, modernity, identity, belonging, and sublimity through the site of the Great Lakes bioregion/borderland.

Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, SWANA, punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019); Villainy (Nightboat Books, Sept 2021), and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). They are currently writing a poet’s novel.

Elina Katrin is the author of the poetry chapbook, If My House Has a Voice (Newfound, 2023). A Syrian-Russian immigrant, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University. Her poetry was selected as a semi-finalist for The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and has appeared in Electric Lit, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. She likes to bake, video chat her dog back home, and go on daily walks.

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including several volumes of poetry, novels, and translations. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water.

Tariq Luthun demands an end to the siege on Gaza and the illegal military occupation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. A Palestinian in diaspora based in metro Detroit on Anishinaabe land, Tariq is a community organizer, data engineer, and award–winning poet calling for the right of return and land back for indigenous peoples globally. Luthun earned his MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and currently serves as a board member of The Offing.

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