Find Elmaz's Blog
    I worry about animals who/
    show up dead misguided/
    after years of knowing their own/
    place and people, of traveling
    with knowledge along the prescribed
    and certain routes of hieroglyphs
    of paw prints, oases dried
    (en)danger ahead.

Elmaz reading at the VONA/Voices Reading 2013

Contact Elmaz

Elmaz Abinader

4096 Piedmont Avenue 173

Oakland, CA 94611

510 418 7535





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Open Reading Period for Willow Books



This House, My Bones

 by Elmaz Abinader!

Elmaz Abinader is a poet, memoirist, playwright and novelist. Her first memoir, Children of the Roojme, a Family’s Journey from Lebanon, chronicles three generations of immigrants battling dislocation and tradition. The poetry collection, In the Country of My Dreams… won the 2000 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry award. She was also awarded a Goldies Award for Literature, as well as two Drammies (Oregon’s Drama award) for her three-act one-woman show, Country of Origin. Elmaz most recently performed Country of Origin at the Kennedy Center and has toured several countries with this play and two others: Ramadan Moon and 32 Mohammeds.  Elmaz’s work has been widely anthologized, most recently in The New Anthology of American Poetry, Vol. 3 and The Colors of Nature. Elmaz has been a Fulbright Senior Fellow to Egypt, taught for the Palestine Writing Workshop and a resident at the El Gouna Writing Residency on the Red Sea. Elmaz is one of the founders of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, (VONA/Voices), now in its 15th year providing workshops for writers of color. She is also a creative writing professor at Mills College and a fitness instructor at the Oakland Y. This House, My Bones will be published by Willow Books in Fall 2014.






Ms. Abinader has written a slice of history that teaches all of us how a family's desperate fights for survival wins out over the horrific clashes of cultures. The complexities of race, religion, and geography are rooted in each family's struggle. No better family than this could teach us this lesson.  Children Of The Roojme: A Family's Journey From Lebanon





  A true storyteller, Elmaz Abinader unites the memoirist’s attention to detail with the songwriter’s penchant for precision of sound, bringing the reader into intimate relationship with her subjects, be they a family preparing for occupation, a sorrowful woman and “war-addicted” child, or herself as the daughter of Lebanese immigrants. Aimee Suzara, Arte East




 photo credits: Rosanna Salcedo, Anthony Byers,