Mikhail, Dunya 1965-

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Mikhail, Dunya 1965-


Born 1965, in Iraq. Education: University of Baghdad, B.A.; Wayne State University, M.A.


Home—MI. Office—Khrw Iraqi American Center, 28091 Dequindre Rd., Madison Heights, MI 48071. E-mail—[email protected].


Poet and Arabic teacher; Khrw Iraqi American Center, Madison Heights, MI, director.


Human Rights Award for Freedom in Writing, United Nations, 2001; PEN Translation Award, for The War Works Hard; The War Works Hard was cited one of the best books of 2005 by the New York Public Library.



(And translator from the Arabic) Diary of a Wave outside the Sea, 2nd edition, edited by Louise I. Hartung, Ishtar Publishing House (Cairo, Egypt), 1999.

The War Works Hard, translated by Elizabeth Winslow, introduction by Saadi Simawe, New Directions Publishing (New York, NY), 2005.

Also author of the collections The Psalms of Absence and Almost Music. Contributor to collections, including Le poème arabe moderne, The Post-Gibran Anthology of New Arab-American Writing, Iraqi Poetry Today, New Arab Poetry,Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology, International Poetry Now: World Beat, and The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology. Contributor to periodicals, including Poetry International, Circumference, Pen American, and Modern Poetry in Translation.


Born in Iraq, Dunya Mikhail fled to the United States in the mid-1990s due to harassment from the local authorities. She is now a well-known and respected poet in her native country, and the author of several collections of poetry. Her poetry is known for its subversive themes and satirical, innovative tone, and often incorporates the tragedy and inhumanity she witnessed in her homeland. Mikhail's published collections of poetry include The Psalms of Absence, Diary of a Wave outside the Sea, and Almost Music. The 2001 recipient of the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing, Mikhail also won the PEN translation award for The War Works Hard, the first volume of her verse to be translated into English. A contributor for Publishers Weekly wrote: "Stark and poignant, Mikhail's poems give voice to an often buried, glossed-over or spun grief." Sadiq Alkoriji, in a review for Library Journal, felt that in Mikhail's poetry "she employs a direct language devoid of complicated imagery."



Library Journal, May 15, 2005, Sadiq Alkoriji, review of The War Works Hard, p. 123.

Publishers Weekly, April 18, 2005, review of The War Works Hard, p. 58.


Dunya Mikhail Home Page,http://www.dunyamikhail.com (July 25, 2006).

Words without Borders Web site,http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/ (July 25, 2006), biography of Dunya Mikhail.