Long awaited collection of poetry from Arab-American author, Elmaz Abinader, once again reveals with no light touch, the beauty and brutality of the world of her family, her country, and her culture. Taking on excile, abuse, love and displacement, Abinader lyrically portrays a life battling the confines of ethnic stereotypes and geographic domination, inside her country and her heart.
An Arab-American author, poet, performer, English professor at Mills College and co-founder of the Vona/Voices. In 2000, she received the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award for her poetry collection In the Country of My Dreams.
Born in a small coal mining community in southwest Pennsylvania, she lived with her parents and her five siblings in a household strongly rooted in Lebanese tradition. Her childhood was spent helping out in her family store, attending Catholic church twice a day, and focusing on her schooling. Abinader and her siblings faced challenges due to their ethnicity.
Abinader received her B.A. in Writing and Communication from University of Pittsburgh in 1974. It was during this time that she embrace her heritage and wrote about her family’s history. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Columbia University, School of the Arts Poetry Writing, in 1978. In 1985, she completed her PhD program at the University of Nebraska, English Fiction and Non-fiction Writing, where she taught English and creative writing