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Zeina Hashem Beck, Hala Alyan, José Olivarez Talal Alyan, Marwa Helal & Raymond Antrobus

Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. Her work appears in ApogeeHyperallergicPoets & WritersWinter Tangerine and elsewhere. She is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2017) and Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem and Brooklyn Museum. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Talal Alyan is a Palestinian American writer based in New York. His debut collection of poetry, Babeldom, was published by Astrophil Press in 2019. He grew up across the Middle East, living in Lebanon, Qatar, the U.A.E. He currently resides in Brooklyn. Alyan has written extensively as both a poet and political writer. His political writing has been featured in various publications including Vice News, Al Jazeera English, Huffington Post and The Daily Beast while his poetry has been published in Colombia Journal, Mud Season Review, Wax Paper, Literary Juice, and elsewhere.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was awarded the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize, and it was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editing the forthcoming anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods and a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Conversation Literary Festival. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association and named a Debut Poet of 2018 by Poets & Writers. He lives in New York City.

Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her second full-length collection, Louder than Hearts, won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. She’s also the author of two chapbooks: 3arabi Song, winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, a 2016 Laureate’s Choice, selected by Carol Ann Duffy. Her first book, To Live in Autumn, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry London, and World Literature Today, among others. Her poem, “Maqam,” won Poetry Magazine’s 2017 Frederick Bock Prize. She lives in Dubai, where she has founded the poetry collective PUNCH.

Raymond Antrobus is a British-Jamaican poet. He is the author of TO SWEETEN BITTER and THE PERSEVERANCE; (PBS Winter Choice and a Sunday Times / The Guardian poetry book of 2018) He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works 3, Jerwood Compton Poetry. He has an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths. In 2018 he was awarded The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize.

Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in Poetry, Guernica and other literary journals. Her poetry collection ATRIUM was awarded the 2013 Arab American Book Award in Poetry, while her latest collection, HIJRA, was selected as a winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry and published by Southern Illinois University Press. Both debut novel, SALT HOUSES (winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize) and her newest collection, THE TWENTY-NINTH YEAR, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Her website can be found at www.halaalyan.com and she resides in Brooklyn.