Hagar Poems by Mohja Kahf
Arab American National Museum
2017 Arab American Book Awards
Honorable Mention - Poetry
By Mohja Kahf
(Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2016)
The central matter of this new collection is the story of Hagar, Abraham, and Sarah -- the ancestral feuding family of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These poems delve into the Hajar story in Islam. They explore other figures from the Near Eastern heritage, such as Mary and Moses, and touch on figures from early Islam, such as Fatima and Aisha. Throughout, there is artful reconfiguring. Readers will find sequels and prequels to the traditional narratives, along with modernized figures claimed for contemporary conflicts. Hagar Poems is a compelling shakeup of not only Hagar's story but also of current roles of all kinds of women in all kinds of relationships.
Mohja Kahf was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1967 to parents who immigrated to the United States in 1971. She is the author of a poetry book, E-mails from Scheherazad, and a novel, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf.