Ann Arbor, MI—March 21, 2018

The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies Presents: “Salts of the Earth with Zamzam and Honey: Spoken-word Performances by Mohja Kahf.”

Ann Arbor, Michigan, Friday, March 23rd 2018; Dearborn, Michigan, March 24th 2018.

The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies welcomes poet and scholar Mohja Kahf for two poetry events. Kahf will read from her newest collection, Hagar Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 2016), which won honorable mention in the 2017 Book Awards of the Arab American National Museum

Mohja Kahf was born in Damascus, Syria, but grew up in the U.S. Midwest. Her childhood experiences shaped her perceptions of the differences and similarities between the cultures of her home and adopted countries. Syria, Islam, ethics, politics, feminism, human rights, the body, gender, and erotics often feature in her work. Kahf reconfigures many female figures of the Islamic tradition, particularly in Hagar Poems. In Emails from Scheherazad (University Press of Florida, 2003)which was a finalist for the 2004 Paterson Poetry Prize, she locates Scheherazad in 21st-century Hackensack, New Jersey. Kahf has also written about the hardships of immigration in The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (Carroll & Graf, 2006), depicting a Muslim girl’s coming of age in Indiana.

Kahf co-writes a column on sexuality for the website Muslim Wake Up. She was a founding member of RAWI, the Radius of Arab American Writers, and is currently a member of the Syrian Nonviolence Movement. Kahf earned a PhD in comparative literature from Rutgers University, and is Professor of English at the University of Arkansas.

March 23, 4-6pm: "Syrian Dreams -- Siren Blasts." Book-signing to follow.

Location: Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

March 24, 6-8pm: "Poems of Hagar & Her Sisters." Reception and book-signing to follow.

Location: Aliya Hassan Auditorium, Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126.

All readings and conversations are FREE and open to the public.