Poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's "Something About Living": Bay Area Launch with Solmaz Sharif

May 14 2024 - 7:00pm


Pegasus Books Downtown is excited to welcome Seattle-based Palestinian writer and poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha on Tuesday, May 14 at 7pm, as we celebrate the launch of her new collection of poems, Something About Living. Lena will be joined for reading and conversation with fellow poet Solmaz Sharif.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha's third poetry collection, Something About Living, explores Palestinian life through the lens of American language, revealing a legacy of obfuscation and erasure. It is the winner of the 2022 Akron Prize for Poetry, and is newly released from the University of Akron Press. Copies will be available for purchase and signing at the reading.

About the book:

Something About Living explores Palestinian life through the lens of American language, revealing a legacy of obfuscation and erasure. What happens when language only permits ongoing disasters to be packaged neatly for consumption and subsequent disposal? 


It’s nearly impossible to write poetry that holds the human desire for joy and the insistent agitations of protest at the same time, but Lena Khalaf Tuffaha’s gorgeous and wide-ranging new collection Something About Living does just that. Her poems interweave Palestine’s historic suffering, the challenges of living in this world full of violence and ill will, and the gentle delights we embrace to survive that violence. Khalaf Tuffaha’s elegant poems sing the fractured songs of Diaspora while remaining clear-eyed to the cause of the fracturing: the multinational hubris of colonialism and greed. This collection is her witness to our collective unraveling, vowel by vowel, syllable by syllable. “Let the plural be a return of us” the speaker of “On the Thirtieth Friday We Consider Plurals” says and this plurality is our tenuous humanity and the deep need to hang on to kindness in our communities. In these poems Khalaf Tuffaha reminds us that love isn’t an idea; it is a radical act. Especially for those who, like this poet, travel through the world vigilantly, but steadfastly remain heart first.  

—Adrian Matejka, author of Somebody Else Sold the World 

About the poet:

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet, essayist and translator. She is the author of Water & Salt (Red Hen)which won the 2018 Washington State Book Award, Kaan & Her Sisters (Trio House Press, 2023), and Something About Living, (UAkron Press, 2024), winner of the 2022 Akron Prize for Poetry. Her writing has been published in journals including Los Angeles Review of Books, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Nation, Poets.org, and Prairie Schooner and in anthologies including The Long Devotion, Alone Together, and We Call to the Eye and The Night. She is the curator and translator of the 2022 Poems from Palestine series at the Baffler magazine. For more about her work, visit www.lenakhalaftuffaha.com

About the guest poet and conversation partner:

Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif is the author of Customs (Graywolf Press, 2022) and Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award. She holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, the New York Times, and others. Her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lannan Foundation, and Stanford University. She is currently the Shirley Shenker Assistant Professor of English at U.C. Berkeley.


Event address: 
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Something about Living By Lena Khalaf Tuffaha Cover Image
ISBN: 9781629222738
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Akron Press - April 2nd, 2024

Event Category: 
Shattuck Location