R120. Two Decades of Arab Lit: Making Space for Complexity

Room 008, Henry B. González Convention Center, River Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Since 1999, the multidisciplinary Arab arts organization, Mizna, has published an eponymous literature and art journal dedicated to centering work from Arab American writers, which, twenty years later, remains the only such printed space. Mizna has long prioritized the authentic reflection of our community’s complexities while inviting a non-Arab readership to meet the writing on its own terms. An acclaimed literary cadre will read and reflect on the history and current state of Arab American literature.



Lana Salah Barkawi is the executive and artistic director of Mizna, a Twin Cities-based Arab arts organization that publishes Mizna: Prose, Poetry, & Art Exploring Arab America and produces the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. She serves on the board of Pangea World Theater.

Elmaz Abinader is the author of two books of poetry, This House, My Bones and In the Country of My Dreams..., the memoir Children of the Roojme, and several one-woman shows, including Country of Origin. Cofounder of VONA, she teaches at Mills College.

Joe Kadi lives and works in the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region of southern Alberta. He is a teacher in the Women's Studies/Gender Studies Program at University of Calgary, and a writer.

Mohja Kahf’s books of poetry are Hagar Poems and E-mails from Scheherazad. She is the author of a novel, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf. Kahf, who teaches at the University of Arkansas, has a poetry manuscript ready for publishing.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center