Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet and translator of Palestinian, Syrian and Jordanian heritage. She was raised on Fairuz songs and fresh pistachios from her grandparents’ trees. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Greek, Heberw, Italian and Spanish and have been read at anti-war events in Gaza, London, Tokyo and Toronto and across the United States. They have been published in International and American journals including Sukoon, James Franco Review, Borderlands Texas Review, The Lake for Poetry, Lunch Ticket, Mizna and Ofi Press Mexico. Two of her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2014 and 2015). Her first book of poems, Water & Salt, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2017. She lives in Redmond, Washington with her family. You can read more of her work at www.lenakhalaftuffaha.com

Olivia Ayes

Olivia Ayes is a queer writer, educator, and agent of change living in Tanzania. She has lectured at universities in the St. Louis area, as well as City University of New York. Her writing appears in The Manhanttanville Review, LEVELER, T/OUR, Sukoon, The Nervous Breakdown, Matador, Five Quarterly, Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. She blogs at NOTES FROM THE MARGIN.

Susan Muaddi Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj is a writer who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Her first short story collection, The Inheritance of Exile, was published in 2007 by University of Notre Dame Press and was a finalist for the AWP Awards in Short Fiction. Her essays, stories, and reviews have appeared in a variety of forums, including anthologies, journals, and radio. Most recently, she co-edited a collection on teaching the work of Naguib Mahfouz for the MLA.

Firas Khoury

Firas Khoury is a Palestinian citizen of Israel living in Haifa. He is one of over 1.5 million citizens of Israel whose cultural, linguistic and ethnic heritage is Palestinian. They are the descendants of indigenous peoples who did not flee to neighboring Arab countries during the 1948 war that led to the establishment of Israel.

Although they were granted citizenship, Palestinian citizens of Israel were subject to martial law until 1966 and continue to face institutionalized racial discrimination today. Several prominent Israeli politicians have even gone as far as to call for the revocation of their citizenship, or for their collective transfer to a future Palestinian state.

Take me with you, to Tel Aviv is a bold expression of this community’s unique experience of exile within their own homeland. It is a defiant expression of a collective identity that is still considered subversive in Israeli political culture, written in a strikingly detached voice that mirrors the alienation of the protagonist.