Ummi is Arabic for “mother.” | Barazeq is a kind of Arabic sweet. | ‘arooss is Arabic for “bride.” | Kaak is a kind of bread sprinkled with sesame seeds, usually sold by street vendors. | Chocolat mou is a dessert made of chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. The reference here is also to a famous chocolat mou place in Tripoli, Lebanon, called “Chocolat Mou Kingdom.” | The burnt books are a reference to the burning of Tripoli’s Saeh Library, in January 2014.
This selection comes from the collection Louder than Hearts, available from Bauhan Publishing. Order your copy here. Photo credit: Hind Shoufani. Our curator for June is Kelly Andrews.
Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her most recent collection, Louder than Hearts, won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. She’s also the author of two chapbooks: 3arabi Song, winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, a 2016 smith|doorstop Laureate’s Choice, selected by Carol Ann Duffy. Her first collection, To Live in Autumn, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize. Her work has won Best of the Net, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Forward Prize, and has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Ambit, and The Rialto, among others. She lives in Dubai, where she has founded and runs PUNCH, a poetry and open mic collective. She reads in the Middle East and internationally.
Find her online here.
Kelly Lorraine Andrews’poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ninth Letter, PANK, Prick of the Spindle, and Love Me, Love My Belly, among others. She is the author of the chapbooks The Fear Archives (Two of Cups Press, 2017), My Body Is a Poem I Can’t Stop Writing (forthcoming, Porkbelly Press), I Want To Eat So Many Kinds of Cake With You and Mule Skinner (both from Dancing Girl Press). She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. She coedits the online journal Pretty Owl Poetry and curates its Pittsburgh reading series. Additional information about her publications, along with a slideshow of her cats, can be found here.
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