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Egyptian Compass, Poems by Pauline Kaldas
"The world map/colored yellow and green/draws a straight line from Boston to Cairo," observes Pauline Kaldas in her rich collection Egyptian Compass. And so these poems navigate seamlessly between two worlds, the West and the Middle East, linking memory and the perspective of the now through a chorus of Egyptian and American voices.
Pauline Kaldas was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States in 1969. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, and she was awarded a fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts in Fiction. She teaches creative writing at Hollins University. She co-edited Dinarzad's Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction.
“These poems expand the terrain of Arab American and immigrant literature and provide rich insight into the complexities of bicultural experience. Moreover, they do so in a language that is innovative and compellingly original. In lines that evoke, juxtapose, question and transform, Kaldas maps the overlapping spaces of homelessness and homecoming, suggesting the power of poetry to challenge linguistic and cultural boundaries. A book to read and reread.”—Lisa Suhair Majaj
"'Where am I ever when I am here,’ writes Pauline Kaldas in this moving lyrical rendering of the vertigo of migration, of living life amidst the multiple exposures of memory and imagination, mooring and flight. Tethered to a compass constantly directing her to Egypt, the poet resettles the wide spaces that dislocation opens before her, and introduces us to a self-made topography of love and empathy, thought and tenderness.”—Khaled Mattawa
ISBN: 1933456256, 96 pages, $17.00