We're thrilled to announce the publication of Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's Letters from the Interior!
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is an American poet, writer, and translator of Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian heritage. She is the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize for Arab in Newsland, and the author of Water & Salt, a book of poems from Red Hen Press published in April 2017, which won the Washington State Book Award. You can follow her on Twitter @LKTuffaha.
Letters from the Interior is forthcoming this autumn. Read the poems "Lemon Blossoms" & "Kaan Loves the Insomniac" from the chapbook in Diode Poetry Journal & listen to Lena speak about activism, home, & language with Dujie Tahat, Luther Hughes, & Gabrielle Bates at The Poet Salon podcast.
In Miss Sahar’s Arabic class, we learned to conjugate the verb Saar, a variant of the past tense.
We learned that to describe what became of the people after the war we would have to remember a tray of cheese pastries supple and pale, nestled in neat rows.
Kaan Loves the Insomniac كان النوم عميقا
Once upon makaan the news reports were narrated in somnolent tones at 7:00PM. The top story was always a receiving line, and I learned that only after the men in suits were done kissing the leader’s chin could the night begin. To sleep is a verb, to sleepwalk is the condition of a person with dispossessed dreams, of verbs forcibly confiscated from their owner.
From The Poet Salon (January 14, 2019):
Welcome back, dearest. In last week’s episode, we spoke to Lena Khalaf Tuffaha about activism, home, language, and so much more. In this episode, Lena brought to The Poet Salon Mahmoud Darwish’s “To Our Land”. She was even kind enough to read it to us in the original Arabic.