This House, My Bones by Elmaz Abinader

“The conversation with history is witnessed by the earth and etches the collisions on its body—every rock and road, riverbed and meadow hold the marks of migrations, escapes, exiles, alienations, aging and evolutions. In This House, My Bones, the body and the earth exchange their positions and perspectives. The memories of war are on the skin as well as on the mesa, the exile is written in dust and cells. Through mining experience of occupation, dislocation, and aging, I created poems where the body and the earth examine their bruises. The poems were influenced by the words of Adrienne Rich, the experiences in Palestine of myself and others, and from my own meditation of the DNA of history and its shifts . . . It is an honor to be the Editor’s Choice at Willow Books/Aquarius Press for 2014.”  ~Elmaz Abinader


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Praise for This House, My Bones

Chris Abani, author of Sanctificum and The Secret History of Las Vegas:  “In poems of grace and a searing fire, Elmaz Abinader negotiates love, yearning, hope, memory, resistance, injustice and death and weaves an uneasy but authentic hope that illuminates the path to a true redemption. A stunning collection.”

Patricia Smith, Author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize: “This House, My Bones is a gorgeously scripted chronicle that probes the collective heart and the countries we inhabit when we dare to speak out loud. There’s an insistent rhythm in these stanzas, a lyricism of light and lineage stamped with the undeniable signature of a poet at the height of her craft. Savor these poems, and be lifted by their music.”

 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 with this play and two others: Ramadan Moon and 32 Mohammeds. Elmaz’s work has been widely anthologized, most recently in The New Anthology of American Poetry, Vol. 3 and The Colors of Nature. Elmaz 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 15th year providing workshops for writers of color. She is also a creative writing professor at Mills College and a fitness instructor at the Oakland Y.   For more, visit