Live streamed on the Asian American Writers’ Facebook page, Minnesota-based Mizna joins the Asian American Writers’ Workshop to present "I Am Deliberate And Afraid of Nothing: Poetry, Prose, and Protest," a reading by Mizna authors on Thursday, March 26 at 7pm EST/4pm PST. Including Andrea Abi Karam, Romaissaa Benzizoune, and Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, this evening is a joyous first collaboration between Mizna and AAWW. This event will be facilitated by AAWW’s Guest Curator Bushra Rehman and Mizna’s Executive and Artistic Director Lana S. Barkawi.
View the live stream on March 26, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time here: facebook.com/AsianAmericanWritersWorkshop.
This event is part of national Poetry Coalition programming and is supported by the Academy of American Poets with funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is also supported by a National Endowment for the Arts grant to Mizna. Find out more: poets.org/academy-american-poets/i-am-deliberate-and-afraid-nothing.
Mizna provides a critical platform for contemporary literature, art, film, and cultural programming centering the work of Arab/Southwest Asian and North African artists. For twenty years, Mizna has sought to reflect the depth and multiplicity of the SWANA community and has been committed to being a space for Arab, Muslim, and other artists from the region to reclaim our narratives and engage audiences in meaningful and artistically excellent art.
Andrea Abi Karam is an Arab-American genderqueer punk poet-performer cyborg, writing on the art of killing bros, the intricacies of cyborg bodies, trauma & delayed healing. Their chapbook, THE AFTERMATH (Commune Editions), attempts to queer Fanon’s vision of how poetry fails to inspire revolution. Andrea’s first book, EXTRATRANSMISSION [Kelsey Street Press, 2019], is a poetic critique of the U.S. military’s role in the War on Terror.
Romaissaa Benzizoune is from New York City and from-from Morocco. Her personal essays have appeared in outlets including Buzzfeed, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, and The New York Times. Her current obsession is TikTok the app.
Susan Muaddi Darraj won an American Book Award for her novel-in-stories, A Curious Land. It also earned the 2016 Arab American Book Award, won the AWP Grace Paley Prize, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. Her previous short story collection, The Inheritance of Exile, was published in 2007 by University of Notre Dame Press. In 2018, she was named a 2018 Ford Fellow by USA Artists. Her debut children’s chapter book series, Farah Rocks (Capstone Books), is the first to feature a Palestinian American protagonist — the smart, brave, and funny Farah Hajjar. The first book in the series is Farah Rocks Fifth Grade, which was published in January 2020.
Sham-e-Ali Nayeem is the author of the poetry collection, City of Pearls (UpSet Press 2019). She is a Muslim Indian American poet and artist of Hyderabadi descent. A former public interest lawyer supporting economic justice for survivors of family and intimate partner violence, Sham-e-Ali is the recipient of the Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship.