Dunya Mikhail
Photo by: Robert Akrawi

“Stark and poignant, Mikhail’s poems give voice to an often buried, glossed-over or spun grief.”Publishers Weekly

“[Mikhail is] a poet who can take a subject as difficult as the death of a child and write, counter to the human-interest story or sound bite, a poem that will outlast the exigencies of the present.”Susan Barba, Boston Review

“Mikhail’s work is emotionally uplifting. Her style mentions an impressive fragility and delicacy of image that touches the reader’s heart. Indeed, her trademark utmost lucidity of picture is tinged by a radiance of tone that we feel unmistakably spills over from the original language.”Laurence Lieberman, American Poetry Review

“Mikhail’s poetry- so pure and beautiful- is the best of her generation.”Fadhil Al-Azzawi

“Mikhail has impressively renovated the genre of the war poem in modern Arabic poetry by boldly introducing new techniques with a new vision.”Saadi Simawe

“Dunya Mikhail combines the authenticity of witness to global events with the essential poetic virtue of wit.” —Robert Stewart, editor of New Letters

“When will there be another society that produces poets in Mikhail’s tradition? If you want to understand how disastrously an ancient culture has been affected by its recent history, this poem will tell you more than any film clips, news stories or books about Middle Eastern battles. Sometimes verse becomes the only language adequateto express the struggles of evolution or the depredations of human conflict.”

Phoebe Pettingell, The New Leader

Sample Work
Selected by Pittsburgh’s “City of Asylum” co-founder Henry Reese
Music by Susie Ibarra
Poem by Dunya Mikhail
from The Iraqi Nights published in 2014 by New Directions
Translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid