Dunya Mikhail With the National Arab Orchestra

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“Yesterday I lost a country. / I was in a hurry, / and I didn’t notice when it fell from me...” Dunya Mikhail reads her poem “I Was in a Hurry” in Arabic and English, accompanied by the National Arab Orchestra. Her fourth poetry collection, In Her Feminine Sign (New Directions, 2019), is featured in Page One in the July/August 2019 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Dunya Mikhail

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“When you write a poem in your language, you write it one time. And when you think in the other language, and try to write a poem in the other language, I feel as if it’s a new poem. They say ‘lost in translation’ but also there are things found in translation.” Dunya Mikhail, author of The Iraqi Nights (New Directions, 2014), translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, talks about the duality of living with multiple homes and languages, and how her journey from Iran to the United States affected her evolution as a poet. Mikhail occasionally translates her own work.

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