Like Scheherazade, Dunya Mikhail presented her new collection of poems; Iraqi Nights to an enraptured audience. Mikhal discussed problems of translation, ancient mythology, surviving through war and the differences between writing in Iraq and America. She answered many questions and talked for almost two hours, weaving stories about her poems and covering many details of her life as a writer.
Dunya shared Iraqi tea and delicious home-made klecha (cookies) prepared by her mother. Her knowledge of Arabic poetry is amazing and we were mesmerized. The reading took place in an intimate setting in the backroom gallery, a real treat for the Book Beat reading group and the small but devoted audience who came. A special guest appearance was made by poet Terry Blackhawk who read a few of her recent compositions. It was an evening master class in poetry, we won’t soon forget. Below is a short audio sample of the event: