A book with a hole in it

Kamelya Omayma Youssef

Kamelya Omayma Youssef. Photo by Tammy Lakkis. 

Spring 2022
Passage Series #5

About the book

Kamelya Omayma Youssef’s A book with a hole in it uses the poetry of the fragment and the language of everyday survival to gesture towards the fallibility of language at the juncture of the multiple, intersecting wars on women, on "terror," on the non-White body, and on people and language in diaspora. Drawn from a set of journals written over a four-month period, A book with a hole in it throws the formal, official work of poetry into relief, asking what knowledge exists beyond knowledge, which silences are too deep to be surfaced on the page, and how to pierce through trauma and violence to approach a politics of redemption.

Kamelya Omayma Youssef's A book with a hole in it is the 2020 Carolyn Bush Award recipient.

About the author

Kamelya Omayma Youssef is a poet based in New York and Dearborn/Detroit. She tends to blur the borders between forms and hopes that one day borders are obliterated entirely. She has primarily worked as a teacher, with occasional side gigs at friend-of-the-family-owned businesses. Her poems and lyric essays have been published online, in print, on the theater stage, and in several anthologies. She also develops and presents creative workshops with her friends. She studied for her MA in English at Wayne State University and is currently an MFA candidate in Poetry at New York University.


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