Mirene Arsanios & Iman Mersal

Through language that is both capacious and precise, movement that is both transgressive and tender, Mirene Arsanios and Iman Mersal explore the liminal space where boundaries press against each other. Please join us to celebrate the publication of their newest works, The Autobiography of a Language and The Threshold.

Mirene Arsanios is the author of the short story collection, The City Outside the Sentence (Ashkal Alwan, 2015), Notes on Mother Tongues (UDP, 2019), and more recently, The Autobiography of a Language (Futurepoem, 2022). She has contributed essays and short stories to e-flux journalVidaThe Brooklyn RailLitHub, and Guernica, among others. Her writing was featured collaboratively at the Sharjah Biennial (2017) and Venice Biennial (2017), as well as in various artist books and projects. Arsanios co-founded the collective 98weeks Research Project in Beirut and is the founding editor of Makhzin, a bilingual English/Arabic magazine for innovative writing.

Iman Mersal is an Egyptian poet, essayist, translator, literary scholar, and Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Alberta, Canada. She is the author of five books of Arabic poetry, selections from which have been translated into numerous languages. In English translation, her poems have appeared in The New RepublicThe New York Review of BooksParnassusParis ReviewThe Nation, and American Poetry Review, among others. These Are Not Oranges, My Love, a selection of Mersal’s work translated into English by Khaled Mattawa was published in 2008, and The Threshold, translated into English by Robyn Creswell, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2022. Her most recent publications include Kayfa Talta’im: ‘An al-Umuma wa Ashbahiha, 2017, translated into English by Robin Moger as How to Mend: Motherhood and its Ghosts (Kayfa Ta and Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2018. Mersal is the recipient of the 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award in Literature for her creative nonfiction work Fi athar Enayat Al-Zayyat (Traces of Enayat al-Zayyat), published in 2019.


Members can use the code MEMBER and students can use the code STUDENT to receive discounted tickets.


Masks are required at all Poetry Project events unless otherwise and specifically noted. If you forget to bring your mask, we are happy to provide you with one.

We also encourage all event attendees to take a rapid test the day of the event before heading to the church. Here’s a map of testing sites throughout the city. Thank you for helping us keep our wonderful community safe!

This in-person event will also be livestreamed via The Poetry Project's YouTube. Livestream captions will be available via a streamtext link or the CC button on YouTube's player.

Open CART captioning is scheduled for most in-person events.

To keep our community safe, The Poetry Project implements the following at all live events: limiting the number of attendees; requiring proof of vaccination be shown at the door upon arrival; and requiring and providing face masks, as well as hand sanitizer stations. Before each event, we will also be conducting rapid tests for all performers, introducers, and hosts. Attendees are required to register in advance, and contact information is collected at the point of registration in the event that we need to support any public health efforts around contact tracing. We are committed to the safety of our performers, audience, and event staff, and will be fully prepared to update any of these plans and protocols as circumstances continue to evolve. We are grateful to attendees for helping us maintain safety within our present public health context, and look forward to holding meaningful shared listening space together.