About Elmaz Abinader

Elmaz Abinader is an author and a performer. Her most recent poetry collection, This House, My Bones, was The Editor’s Selection for 2014 from Willow Books/Aquarius. Her books include a memoir: Children of the Roojme, A Family’s Journey from Lebanon, a book of poetry, In the Country of My Dreams… which won the Oakland PEN, Josephine Miles Award. Recently she was awarded a Trailblazer Award by RAWI (Radius of Arab Writers International)  Her plays include Ramadan Moon, 32 Mohammeds, and Country of Origin. She has been a frequent contributor to Al-Jazeera English. She has been anthologized widely including the New Anthology of American Poetry, and in The Colors of Nature. She has been a fellow at residencies in Marfa (Lannan) Macedonia, Brazil, Spain and Egypt and a Senior Fulbright Fellow.  Her teaching includes Master Workshops for Hedgebrook In India as well as for VORTEXT. Elmaz is one of the co-founders of The Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices) a writing workshop for writers-of-color. She teaches at Mills College, is a fitness instructor at http://www.fitnessinsmallspaces.com and lives with her husband Anthony Byers iin the Bay Area.   www.elmazabinader.com

You can find a short bio here

Excerpt from Almost a Life, forthcoming novel

When the images of the slaughter appeared on the television, I focused on the women, no matter who they were. I wanted to talk to them about the husband who had disappeared or the baby who had died. Or father who was stranded. In these screenshots, they were often screaming—a crazy distortion of the lips and face melting into a blot. They splattered onto the screen, their heads seeming so huge; it took me a moment to notice that the one standing in the middle of the street with the car exploding behind her, was fancy-dressed for church. What kind of shoes had she worn to the death of her loved one, how did the blood splatter on her skirt?   In the photograph her arms were spread, and she was wailing. How would she remember this moment, years later?  Would she recognize herself?
There were many casualties of this war, but I wasn’t one. Nothing was wrong with my body: nothing broken or wounded, no missing parts. I wasn’t being carried to a truck by my arms and legs or lying in the street my head turned into the dirt.

I recognize my occupation of indigenous lands and offer honor and respect to the original inhabitants of the Bay area.