S121. Arab American Poetics

Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Arab American literary aesthetics and poetics are critical and avant garde, transnational and translingual, cosmopolitan and cosmopolitical, absurd and comic, and ultimately uncategorizable. Poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers will be present to discuss, celebrate, critique, and share in his rich conversation on Arab American poetics, with a focus on visual qualities and experimentations of texts, as well as the ways in which they stretch, interrogate,and change the English language.


Randa Jarrar is the author of the critically acclaimed novel A Map of Home and the short story collection Him, Me, Muhammad Ali. Her essays have appeared in The Sun, Guernica, Oxford American, New York Times Magazine, Utne Reader, and Salon. She is associate professor at Fresno State's MFA program.

Marwa Helal is a poet whose work appears in Apogee, Hyperallergic, The Offing, Poets & Writers, The Recluse, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. She is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN and Invasive Species. Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest.

Hayan Charara, NEA Fellow and University of Houston faculty, is the author of three poetry books, most recently Something Sinister; a children's book; editor of Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry; and a series editor of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's book of poetry, Water and Salt, is published by Red Hen Press. Her chapbook, Arab in Newsland, won the 2016 Two Sylvias Press Prize. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart, Best of the Net, and the Rita Dove Prize. She is an MFA candidate at the Rainier Writing Workshop.

Deema K. Shehabi is the author of Thirteen Departures from the Moon and coeditor with Beau Beausoleil of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, for which she received the Northern California Book Award's NCBR Recognition Award. She's also coauthor with Marilyn Hacker of Diaspo/Renga.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside