Dunya Mikhail

Dunya Mikhail


دنيا ميخائيل

Dunya Mikhail is an Iraqi-American poet and writer. She is a laureate of the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture and has received fellowships from the United States Artists, the Guggenheim, and the Kresge Foundation. Her honors also include the Arab American Book Award, and UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. Her books include The War Works Hard (translated by Elizabeth Winslow), shortlisted for the International Griffon Poetry Prize; Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea, won the Arab American Book Award. The Iraqi Nights received the Poetry Magazine Translation Award (translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid), and In Her Feminine Sign, selected as the Wild Card Choice (UK), was chosen by The New York Public Library as one of the ten best poetry books of 2019. Her non-fiction The Beekeeper (co-translated with Max Weiss), was a finalist for the National Book Award and for PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award. The Bird Tattoo, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. She currently works as a special lecturer of Arabic at Oakland University in Michigan.

Her Twitter personal account (in English): twitter.com

© Twitter (personal account)
Date of birth : 1965
Country of birth: Iraq
Country of residence: USA
Contact: Charlotte Seymour (agent)

Selected bibliography

  • وشم الطائر, The Bird Tattoo, Dar Al Rafidain, Iraq, 2020. English translation: The Bird Tattoo, Pegasus Books, UK, 2022. Portuguese translation: A tatuagem de pássaro, Editora Tabla, Brazil, 2022, trans. by Beatriz Gemignani
  • الغريبة بتائها المربوطة, In Her Feminine Sign, Dar Al Rafidain, Iraq, 2019. English translations: In Her Feminine Sign, New Directions, US, 2019; Carcanet Press, UK, 2019
  • في سوق السبايا, The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq, Al Mutawassit, Italy 2017. English translations: The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq, New Directions, US, 2018, trans. by Max Weiss and Dunya Mikhail; The Beekeeper of Sinjar: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq, Serpent’s Tail, UK, 2018, trans. by Max Weiss. Italian translation: Le Regine Rubate del Sinjar, Nutrimenti, Italy, 2018, trans. by Elena Chiti. Polish translation: Pszczelarz Z Sindzaru, Otwarte, Poland, 2019 trans. by Robert Sudol. French translation: Captives, Editions Grasset, France, 2021, trans. by Stéphanie Dujols
  • الليالي العراقية, The Iraqi Nights, Dar Mesopotamia, Iraq, 2013. English translation: The Iraqi Nights, New Directions, US, 2014, trans. by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
  • الحرب تعمل بجد, The War Works Hard, Dar Al Mada, Syria, 2000. English translations: The War Works Hard, New Directions, US, 2005; Carcanet Press, UK, 2006
  • يوميات موجة خارج البحر, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea, Dar Ishtar, Egypt, 1999. English translation: Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea, New Directions, US, 2009, trans. by Elizabeth Winslow


Dunya Mikhail, an Iraqi exile and one of the foremost poets of our time by AINA, March 2018

Dunya Mikhail: Flashed Through Exile by Guernica, July 2014

War is a recurring theme for poet Dunya Mikhail, an Iraqi exile who fled her country after being placed on Saddam Hussein’s enemies list by NPR, July 2007

Prizes and awards

  • UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture 2022
  • USA Fellowship 2021 
  • Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018
  • Arab American Book Award in 2010
  • The United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing, 2001

Book(s) featured on this site

Reviewed by Diqqa.net