Title Thumbnail

Something About Living

81 pages
University of Akron Press
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
Author Bio
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of two books of poetry, Water & Salt (Red Hen Press) and Kaan and Her Sisters (Trio House Press 2023). She has received honors including the 2018 Washington State Book Award, the 2019 Robert Watson Literary Prize, 2020 Best of the Net for nonfiction, and the Goldstein Prize for Poetry. Tuffaha was the 2022 curator of the translation series Poems from Palestine at the Baffler magazine. She lives in Redmond, Washington, with her family.