Internationally Acclaimed Iraqi Poet
Mikhail is the former literary editor at The Baghdad Observer. She began writing poems as a teenager, during the Iran-Iraq conflict, and has since published numerous books; war is a recurring theme throughout her work. The War Works Hard, her masterpiece, won the PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize, and was named one of the 25 best books of 2005 by The New York Public Library. Her latest, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea, is a memoir in poetic form started in Iraq and finished, years later, in America. She continues to publish poetry that has won international acclaim, including the UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing.
Mikhail has a degree in English Literature from the University of Baghdad, and a masters degree in Near Eastern Studies, from Wayne State University, in Michigan, where she works as Arabic resource coordinator for Dearborn Public Schools and Michigan State University.
Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea: Poetry and Stories from Iraq
Dunya Mikhail is an Iraqi exile who fled her country, in the 1990s, when her work was deemed subversive by government sensors. She left for America with one suitcase-- and no idea how she'd get there. Now a U.S. citizen, Mikhail writes, and speaks, about the power of poetry in Iraq, and its role in Arab society. With select readings from her work, Mikhail creates a spectacular vista onto the people and the culture of modern Iraq, a place most Americans could not begin to describe. Heartfelt but never sentimental, her poems, and her story, bring fully to life a society that has faced countless obstacles, but which remains resolutely and beautifully alive.
The War Works Hard
Revolutionary poetry by an exiled Iraqi woman. Winner of a 2004 PEN Translation Fund Award. "Yesterday I lost a country," Dunya Mikhail writes in The War Works Hard, a revolutionary work by an exiled Iraqi poet-- her first to appear in English. Amidst the ongoing atrocities in Iraq, here is an important new voice that rescues the human spirit from the ruins, unmasking the official glorification of war with telegraphic lexical austerity. Embracing literary traditions from ancient Mesopotamian mythology to Biblical and Qur'anic parables to Western modernism, Mikhail's poetic vision transcends cultural and linguistic boundaries with liberating compassion.
Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea
An impressionistic memoir by the award-winning Iraqi-American writer, Dunya Mikhail, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea covers her earliest sensations of childhood to a more complicated grasp of death, beginning with the death of her father to the Gulf War and the subsequent Iraqi War. Mikhail writes: "Death always looks for us. It comes from beyond the continents. It crosses long distances holding a basket of fire in its hand."
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