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Iraqi Poet Dunya Mikhail Conveys War Stories in Verse Apr. 30

Story posted April 20, 2009


Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail will deliver the Kenneth V. Santagata Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, 2009, in Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union.

Mikhail's talk, titled "Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea: Poetry and Story from Iraq," is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

War is a recurring theme for poet Dunya Mikhail, an Iraqi exile who fled her country after being placed on Saddam Hussein's enemies list. She wrote her first poems as a teenager in Baghdad, just as the slaughter of the Iran-Iraq War began. Subsequent wars offered more to write about. She has published four collections of poetry in Arabic and one in English, including The Psalms of Absence, Almost Music, and The War Works Hard. Her book Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea will be released in May.

In 2001, Mikhail was awarded the U.N. Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. The War Works Hard won PEN's Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of 25 best books of 2005.

Mikhail has a master's degree in Near Eastern studies from Wayne State University in Michigan and a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Baghdad. She is currently working as an Arabic resource coordinator for Dearborn Public Schools and Michigan State University.

Bowdoin College's Santagata Memorial Lecture Fund was established in 1982 by family and friends of Kenneth V. Santagata, Bowdoin class of 1973, to provide one lecture each semester from among the fields of arts, humanities, or social sciences. The lecturers are recognized authorities in their fields, who present new, novel, or non-conventional approaches to their subjects.

For more information call 725-3257.

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