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 (click photo)
Contact Elmaz



Elmaz Abinader

510 418 7535



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October 1, 2014

From Willow Books, Aquarius Press 


Buy It! Pre-order now



This House, My Bones--video clip





Chris Abani, author of Sanctificum and The Secret History of Las Vegas:

In poems of grace and a searing fire, Elmaz Abinader negotiates love, yearning, hope, memory, resistance, injustice and death and weaves an uneasy but authentic hope that illuminates the path to a true redemption. A stunning collection. 


Ruth Forman, author of Prayers like Shoes and We Are the Young Magicians:

A somber clarity weaves this lovely work. Perhaps Abinader’s lines express it best: “How many times can your heart break?/ How many times is writing a surgery?” Yes, a mourning rises from these pages. But wrapped with prayer and hymn, a tender morning rises from these pages.


Writer's Statement

The conversation with history is witnessed by the earth and etches the collisions on its body—every rock and road, riverbed and meadow hold the marks of migrations, escapes, exiles, alienations, aging and evolutions. In This House, My Bones, the body and the earth exchange their positions and perspectives. The memories of war are on the skin as well as on the mesa, the exile is written in dust and cells. Through mining experience of occupation, dislocation, and aging, I created poems where the body and the earth examine their bruises.



from Falling Into The Ocean
...In exile we write of lost cities, countries that formed the friction ridges on our fingerprints;
every story pushes harder  as if articulation is redemption          or at the very least allows us
to point to the place on the map where the house once stood. Maybe all of that:
houses and schools, roads and churches, even the neighbors are less the point
when the foundation gives way. Everything can be lost just that quick.