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Iman Mersal is an award-winning Egyptian poet, writer, academic and translator, born November 1966 in Mansourah, Egypt, who began publishing her poetry aged sixteen.
She is an Associate professor of Arabic literature and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Alberta, Canada and has recently resided in Marseille, France, where until July 2021 she held the Albert Camus chair at IMéRA, the Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University while working on a book entitled Al Laknah: Al Sawt fee Ghair Makaneh (Accent: the Displaced Voice).
She has five poetry collections published, including Ittisafat [Characterizations] in 1990, Mamarr Mu‘tim Yasluh li Ta‘allum al-Raqs [A Dark Passageway is Suitable for Learning to Dance] in 1995, al-Mashy Atwal Waqt Mumkin [Walking As Long As Possible] in 1997, Jiughrafia Badeela [Alternative Geography](2006) and Mamar Moetem Yasloh fee Talom Al Raks (A Dark Path Suitable for Learning to Dance), which is considered one of the most important poetry books issued by the generation of the nineties in Arabic poetry. An anthology of her works has been translated into more than twenty languages.
Other works include Hatta Atakhlla Aan Fekrat Al Boyot (Until I Abandon the Idea of Homes), published in in 2013, and in 2017 Kayfa Taltaem: Aan Al Omoma wa Askhbahuha (How to Mend: On Motherhood and its Ghosts).
Her non-fiction work Fee Athar Enayat Al Zayyat (In the Footsteps of Enayat Al-Zayyat), published in 2019, won the 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the Literature category. Here Publishing Perspectives interviews Iman Mersal about that SZBA Award.
These Are Not Oranges, My Love, a selection of her poetry translated into English by Khaled Mattawa, came out with Sheep Meadow Press, USA, in 2008.
How to Mend: On Motherhood and its Ghosts was published in 2018 by Kafa Ta and Sternberg Press in English translation by Robin Moger.
Threshold is Iman Mersal's latest book in English translation by and introduced by Robyn Creswell, a selection of poems from four poetry collections, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 126 pages, $13.99 (October 2022).