Led by poet Claudia F. Savage, a mostly quarterly interview series

Image for post
Image for post
Hala Alyan

The fourth installment of the series, a conversation with Hala Alyan.

There are poets who use metaphor with such skill that you feel their images as a part of your body — “because a woman/ who knows war knows deliverance, her mouth a sea/ of sharks trapped in coral,” Hala Alyan writes, and, “do not underestimate me… I can fashion a corset out of horns.” Alyan, a Palestinian American poet, novelist, and clinical psychologist, has lived all over the globe and wears ancestral memory like another skin. In her work, war and devotion and displacement and sex mingle: “Even the plundered would have smiled/ at our singing….We …


Led by poet Claudia F. Savage, a mostly quarterly interview series

Image for post
Image for post
Mohja Kahf (Photo credit: Russell Cothren, University of Arkansas)

The third of the series, a conversation with Mohja Kahf.

The writing of Syrian American writer, activist, and professor Mohja Kahf manages to balance the gravity of persecution with the absurdity of cultural navigation. She is the author of two books of poetry, E-mails From Scheherazad and Hagar Poems, a novel, the girl in the tangerine scarf, and multiple works of non-fiction, including Western Representations of the Muslim Woman: From Termagant to Odalisque. …


Led by poet Claudia F. Savage, a quarterly interview series

Image for post
Image for post
Kaveh Akbar

The second of the series, a conversation with Kaveh Akbar.

Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar’s work admits everything — emotional difficulty, bodily awkwardness, and historical hesitancy. “Being alive/ is so confusing, most people have to/ whisper around it…” he says in “Feet First.” But, although his poetry tackles difficult subject matter — murdered Iranian women, addiction, and exile — every poem is a method of prayer. Language, for Akbar, is a net for wonder. In his poem, “I Was Already An American Last Week When A Leaf Fell” he says:

Once, drunk and amphetamined, I stayed up
all night licking a friend’s knives. In the morning
my tongue was shredded to ribbons, delicate as wet
newsprint. …


Led by poet Claudia F. Savage, a quarterly interview series

Image for post
Image for post
Lauren Camp (Photo credit: Bob Godwin)

The first of the series, a conversation with Lauren Camp.

Multidisciplinary poet, visual artist, and radio host Lauren Camp is the first-generation, Arab-American daughter of a Jewish-Iraqi immigrant. There is a sense, in her third book, One Hundred Hungers, that you are a guest at a family gathering. You listen. You absorb gesture. You are grateful for the amazing food. Though you stuff yourself, you have more questions. More need. One Hundred Hungers doesn’t offer simple answers about exile or identity. Instead, the personal becomes political, and bravery happens on the smallest of scales, within a family. Lauren Camp is a patient poet. …

About

Claudia F. Savage

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store