Caldwell, N.J., March 20, 2019- The launch of Presence 2019: A Journal of Catholic Poetry will feature a reading of poems written by Syria refugees and never before translated into English.
The reading is free and open to the public and will be held at noon on Monday, April 15 in Werner Hall at Caldwell University.
The poems will be read by Sharif S. Elmusa and Gregory Orfalea, co-editors of Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry.
Elmusa is a Palestinian refugee who he grew up in a refugee camp near Jericho. He is author of a book of poems, “Flawed Landscape”. His poems and essays appeared in numerous print and online magazines, including most recently, “The Massachusetts Review,” “Mizna,” “The Indian Quarterly” (India), Jadaliyya.com and Voxpopulisphere.com. Elmusa taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, for many years, and also at Georgetown, Qatar, and Yale. He is Palestinian by birth and American by citizenship. A number of his long essays have appeared in anthologies, including, Seeking Palestine, and Gaza Unsilenced. He has contributed opinion pieces to English-language newspapers in Egypt, including Al-Ahram Weekly and madamasr.com.; Jadaliyya.com; The Washington Post; and the New York Times.
Orfalea is the author of ten books, the most recent of which is “Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California” (Scribner, 2014) A children’s version is “Junipero Serra and the California Missions.” His “Angeleno Days” won the Arab American Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN USA Prize. His collection of poetry, “The Capital of Solitude,” won the Ithaca House First Book Prize. The long poem, “Arab and Jew in Alaska,” which originally was published by the Christian Science Monitor, was the first poem by an Arab American to appear in The Norton Introduction to Poetry. Poet Lore has nominated “Poem for the Unspeakable” for the 2019 Pushcart Prize.