Elmaz Abinader

Johanna Lawshea

Elmaz Abinader is a poet, memoirist, playwright and novelist. Her first memoir, Children of the Roojme, a Family’s Journey from Lebanon, chronicles three generations of immigrants battling dislocation and tradition. The poetry collection, In the Country of My Dreams…, won the 2000 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry award. She was also awarded a Goldies Award for Literature, as well as two Drammies (Oregon’s Drama award) for her three-act one-woman show, Country of Origin. Elmaz most recently performed Country of Origin at the Kennedy Center and has toured several countries. Elmaz’s work has been widely anthologized. She has been a Fulbright Senior Fellow to Egypt, taught for the Palestine Writing Workshop and a resident at the El Gouna Writing Residency on the Red Sea. Elmaz is one of the founders of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, (VONA/Voices), now in its fifteenth year, which provides workshops for writers of color. Her latest poetry collection, In This House, My Bones (Willow Books/Aquarius Press) draws on her and others’ experiences in Palestine, and from her meditation of the DNA of history and its shifts.