Dunya Mikhail (b. 1965) worked as a journalist for the Baghdad Observer until, facing increasing threats from the Iraqi authorities, she fled first to Jordan, then to the United States. In 2001, she was awarded the UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. Her first book in English, the poetry collection The War Works Hard (2005), won a 2004 Pen Translation Fund Award. It was also shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and was named one of the twenty-five books to remember by the New York Public Library in 2005. Diary of A Wave Outside the Sea (2009) won the 2010 Arab American Book Award for poetry. Her third collection, The Iraqi Nights, was published in 2014. In 2018, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and published her first work of literary non-fiction, The Beekeeper of Sinjar, to great acclaim. Her fourth collection, In Her Feminine Sign, was released in summer 2019, and her debut novel, The Bird Tattoo, was published in Arabic in spring 2020, shortlisted in 2021 for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. She currently lives in Michigan and works as an Arabic instructor for Oakland University.
Photo credit (c) Michael Smith