Etel Adnan Poetry Prize Winner Jessica Abughattas to Read at Virtual Festival Oct. 30

Arab American poet Jessica Abughattas will read from her prize-winning collection Strip (University of Arkansas Press, 2020) as part of this year's Open Mouth Poetry Festival. Abughattas is the winner of the 2020 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize, which annually awards $1,000 to a first or second book of poetry, in English, by a writer of Arab heritage.
Christine Donlon

Arab American poet Jessica Abughattas will read from her prize-winning collection Strip (University of Arkansas Press, 2020) as part of this year's Open Mouth Poetry Festival. Abughattas is the winner of the 2020 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize, which annually awards $1,000 to a first or second book of poetry, in English, by a writer of Arab heritage.

Jessica Abughattas, Arab American poet and winner of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize, will read from her prize-winning poetry collection Strip (University of Arkansas Press, 2020) Friday, Oct. 30 as part of the fourth annual Open Mouth Poetry Festival. The reading will take place at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

Registration is free and open to the public.

A poet of Palestinian heritage, Abughattas was born and raised in California. An alumna of Pepperdine University, Abughattas has been awarded a Kundiman fellowship and an M.F.A. in poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has been published in Tupelo Quarterly, Waxwing, Redivider, Best of the Net 2019 and elsewhere.

Abughattas' inaugural poetry collection, Strip, was chosen by Etel Adnan series editors Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah as the winner of the 2020 Prize. "Strip is a captivating debut about desire and dispossession and that tireless poetic metaphor—the body. Audacious and clear-eyed, plainspoken and brassy, Abughattas's poems are songs that break free from confinement as they span the globe from Hollywood to Palestine," the editors said of the collection.

For more about Jessica Abughattas, visit www.jessicaabughattas.com.

Every year the University of Arkansas Press, together with the Radius of Arab American Writers, accepts submissions for the Etel Adnan Poetry Series and awards the $1,000 prize to a first or second book of poetry, in English, by a writer of Arab heritage. Since its founding in 1996 the Radius of Arab American Writers has celebrated and fostered the writings and writers that make up the vibrant and diverse Arab American community.

The Etel Adnan Poetry Prize is supported by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas. It is named in honor of the world-renowned Lebanese poet, novelist, essayist, and artist Etel Adnan, who the journal MELUS — The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States — called "arguably the most celebrated and accomplished Arab American author writing today."

This reading is sponsored by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies in partnership with the Open Mouth Reading Series, a non-profit community-based poetry series in Fayetteville, Arkansas. For more information on the 2020 Open Mouth Poetry Festival, visit www.openmouthreadings.com/events.

About the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies: 

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the U of A, dedicated to the study of the modern Middle East and the geo-cultural area in which Islamic civilization prospered and continues to shape world history.

About the Open Mouth Reading Series: The Open Mouth Reading Series is a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to enrich the Northwest Arkansas community through close contact with poetry and with poets from the larger literary world. Open Mouth hosts readings, workshops, a summer poetry retreat and an annual fall poetry festival. For more information about Open Mouth or to donate, visit www.openmouthreadings.com and sign up for the Open Mouth newsletter.

About the University of Arkansas Press: The University of Arkansas Press advances the mission of the U of A by publishing peer-reviewed scholarship and literature of enduring value. The Press publishes works by authors of diverse backgrounds writing for specialty as well as general audiences in Arkansas and throughout the world.

Contacts

Nani Verzon, project/program specialist
Middle East Studies Program
479-575-2175, hverzon@uark.edu

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