Elmaz Abinader and Tony Khalife at the Levantine Cultural Center

9780989735766_1024x1024On the 28th of March, the  Levantine Cultural Center is hosting an evening of poetry and music with two Lebanese American artists: poet Elmaz Abinader & musician Tony Khalife. Abider will be reading from her new collection of poetry, This House, My Bones (2014).

Abinader describes the collection as a “meditation” on history where “the body and the earth exchange their positions”:

The conversation with history is witnessed by the earth and etches the collisions on its body—every rock and road, riverbed and meadow hold the marks of migrations, escapes, exiles, alienations, aging and evolutions. In This House, My Bones, the body and the earth exchange their positions and perspectives. The memories of war are on the skin as well as on the mesa, the exile is written in dust and cells. Through mining experience of occupation, dislocation, and aging, I created poems where the body and the earth examine their bruises. The poems were influenced by the words of Adrienne Rich, the experiences in Palestine of myself and others, and from my own meditation of the DNA of history and its shifts.”

Patricia Smith, winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize, has this to say about the collection:

This House, My Bones is a gorgeously scripted chronicle that probes the collective heart and the countries we inhabit when we dare to speak out loud. There’s an insistent rhythm in these stanzas, a lyricism of light and lineage stamped with the undeniable signature of a poet at the height of her craft. Savor these poems, and be lifted by their music.”

Abinader is the author of two previous books:

  • In the Country of My Dreams, Sufi Warrior Publishing, 1999
  • The Children of the Roojme, a Family’s Journey from Lebanon, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1997

Here is a performance by both artists from 2012:

Tony Khalife’s Scheherazade Saves the World:

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