....الو مين عالخط Hello, Who's On the Line? Writing from the Arabic

Rooms 335-336, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 3
Thursday, March 9, 2023
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


Writers in English from the Arabic produce work that is both illuminating and exigent, but what does it mean to be a writer in a language that's not your “mother tongue”? How does the language of exile or distance truncate creativity and expression? What role does audience play? How do you navigate the space between translation and writing original texts? Four Arab heritage women poets and translators explore the nuances, freedoms, and shortcomings of an English language writing life.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_23_Whos_On_the_Line_Event_Outline.pdf



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 holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at PLU.

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 NCBR Recognition Award. She's also coauthor with Marilyn Hacker of Diaspo/Renga. She won the Nazim Hizkmet Poetry Prize in 2018.

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her books include O, Louder than Hearts, and To Live in Autumn. Her poems have appeared in the New York Times, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Nation, among others. She's the cohost of Maqsouda, a podcast in Arabic about Arabic poetry.

Lubna Safi is a poet, writer, and graduate student living in California. Her poems and essays have been published in Guernica, The Journal, MIZNA, and elsewhere. Her first poetry collection, Your Blue and the Quiet Lament won the 2022 Walt McDonald First Book Prize in Poetry.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center