Moonstone Arts Center and Al-Bustan present:
Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet with a BA and an MA in English Literature from the American University of Beirut. Her first poetry collection, To Live in Autumn (The Backwaters Press, 2014), won the 2013 Backwaters Prize, judged by esteemed poet Lola Haskins. It was also a runner up for the Julie Suk Award, a category finalist for the 2015 Eric Hoffer Awards, and has been included on Split This Rock’s list of recommended poetry books for 2014. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and has appeared in Ploughshares, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, River Styx, 32 Poems, The Common, Rattle, Tampa Review, The Rialto, Copper Nickel, Mizna, Sukoon, Magma, andMslexia, among others. Her poetry manuscript, “Louder than Hearts,” has been named runner-up for the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. Zeina reads regularly at poetry evenings, festivals (most recently the 2015 Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature), theaters, and universities around the Middle East. She is the founder of PUNCH, a Dubai-based poetry and open mic collective, for which she hosts monthly readings. She’s on the editorial board of All Roads Will Lead You Home, a new online literary journal by VAC poetry.
Yolanda Wisher is a multidisciplinary poet and educator. Currently the 3rd Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, Wisher is a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence (2016), Pew Fellow (2015), Catalyst Initiative Grantee (2015), Leeway Art & Change Grantee (2008), Cave Canem Fellow (1999-2000), and the first Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999). Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, 2013). Her work has been featured in Fence, GOOD Magazine, Harriet: The Blog,MELUS, Ploughshares, The Sun Ra Mixtape Vol. 1, and in the anthologies Gathering Ground, Gravyland, Lavanderia, Stand Our Ground, and The Ringing Ear. As an English teacher at Germantown Friends School, Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010). She also served as the Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015). Wisher is a Founding Cultural Agent and the Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.