The University of Arkansas Press Author Showcase features Mohja Kahf, who will discuss Hagar Poems, on Sunday, February 5 at 2:00pm in the Fayetteville Public Library. The collection of poetry delves into a variety of figures of Near Eastern heritage, touching on a variety of themes both ancient and contemporary.
The central matter of this daring collection is the story of Hagar, Abraham, and Sarah — the ancestral feuding family of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These poems delve into the Hagar story in Islam. They explore other figures from the Near Eastern heritage, such as Mary and Moses, and touch on figures from early Islam, such as Fatima and Aisha. Throughout, there is artful reconfiguring. Readers will find sequels and prequels to the traditional narratives, along with modernized figures claimed for contemporary conflicts. Hagar Poems is a compelling shakeup of not only Hagar’s story but also of current roles of all kinds for women in all kinds of relationships.
Mohja Kahf was born in Damascus, Syria, to parents who immigrated to the United States in 1971. She is the author of a poetry book, E-mails from Scheherazad, and a novel, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf.