Khaled Mattawa poetry reading at Nicola's Books Wednesday
Assistant Professor Khaled Mattawa, of the University of Michigan Masters in Fine Arts Creative Writing program, will be reading at 7 p.m. today at Nicola’s Books. Although last week’s Radius of Arab American Writers conference is over, we are fortunate to still be able to hear its writers. There is a short accessible article about his work in the Kalamazoo Gazette.
According to Professor Mattawa’s Department of English bio:
KHALED MATTAWA is the author of four books of poetry, Tocqueville (New Issues Press, forthcoming 2010) Amorisco (Ausable Press, 2008), Zodiac of Echoes (Ausable Press, 2003) and Ismailia Eclipse (Sheep Meadow Press, 1996). He has translated eight books of contemporary Arabic poetry by Saadi Youssef, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Hatif Janabi, Maram Al-Massri, Joumana Haddad, Amjad Nasser, and Iman Mersal. Mattawa has co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature.
Mattawa has been awarded the PEN award for literary translation, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Alfred Hodder fellowship from Princeton University, an NEA translation grant, and 3 Pushcart prizes.
His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Antioch Review, Best American Poetry, and many other journals and anthologies.
Prof. Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya and immigrated to the United States in his teens.
From Nicola's Books' website:
The trick is that you're willing to help them.
The rule is to sound like you're doing them a favor.
The rule is to create a commission system.
The trick is to get their number.
The trick is to make it personal:
No one in the world suffers like you.
The trick is that you're providing a service.
The rule is to keep the conversation going.
The rule is their parents were foolish,
their children are greedy or insane.
The rule is to make them feel they've come too late.
The trick is that you're willing to make exceptions.
The rule is to assume their parents abused them.
The trick is to sound like the one teacher they loved.
And when they say "too much,"
give them a plan.
And when they say "anger" or "rage" or "love,"
say "give me an example."
The rule is everyone is a gypsy now.
Everyone is searching for his tribe.
The rule is you don't care if they ever find it.
The trick is that they feel they can.
Nicola’s Books is at 2513 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor.
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for AnnArbor.com, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at franceskaihwawang.com, her blog at franceskaihwawang.blogspot.com, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.