Skip to main content


Five Muslim American Poets: Readings by Kazim Ali and Khaled Mattawa

This event was recorded as part of the Five Muslim American Poets conference at Northwestern University, which brought together poets with widely varying individual styles who nonetheless share a common Islamic background. Participants read from their work and spoke about the literary, cultural, religious, and political contexts of their writing. 


Kazim Ali is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College and teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the University of Southern Maine. Ali is the author of two books of poetry, The Far Mosque and The Fortieth Day. He also wrote the novels Quinn's Passage, The Disappearance of Seth and Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. His work has been featured in many national journals such as Best American Poetry 2007, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Barrow Street, jubilat and Massachusetts Review. He is a founding editor of Nightboat Books.

Khaled Mattawa is the author of three books of poetry, Amorisco, Zodiac of Echoes and Ismailia Eclipse. He has translated seven books of contemporary Arabic poetry by Saadi Youssef, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Hatif Janabi, Maram Al-Massri, Joumana Haddad, and Iman Mersal; and he has co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature. Mattawa has been awarded the PEN award for literary translation, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Alfred Hodder fellowship from Princeton University, an NEA translation grant, and 3 Pushcart prizes. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Antioch Review, Best American Poetry, and many other journals and anthologies. Mattawa was born in Libya and came to the United States in his teens.

Also recorded as part of this event:
-Opening Remarks & Readings by Raza Ali Hasan, Ibtisam Barakat, and Fady Joudah 
-Readings by Kazim Ali and Khaled Mattawa
-"The Muslim American Poet as Self and Other" Symposium


Recorded Monday, October 26, 2009 at Northwestern University - Norris University Center.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.