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Panel: Voices of Queer and Trans Arab American Poetry

Sunday, 4/3/2022
2:00 - 3:00

Following on the heels of their groundbreaking performance for the National Queer Arts Festival, queer and trans Arab American poets present dynamic work that challenges assumptions and blurs boundaries, imagining fierce and thriving futures. Curated by Janine Mogannam and featuring Amir Rabiyah, Andrea Abi-Karam, Bazeed, Fargo Tbakhi and George Abraham. A dialogue follows the poets' program.

Watch on YouTube.


Janine Mogannam is a Palestinian American poet and librarian. She is a member of Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and Still Here San Francisco, and was a 2021 Creating Queer Community fellow with the National Queer Arts Festival. Her writing has appeared in Kweli, The Margins, Writing the Walls Down and elsewhere.

Amir Rabiyah is a queer and trans poet. Their work explores living life on the margins and at the intersections of multiple identities. Rabiyah's first full collection poetry book, Prayers for My 17th Chromosome, is available through Sibling Rivalry Press. This debut collection was a finalist for the Triangle Publishing Award, and an ALA Over the Rainbow pick. Rabiyah is also the co-editor of Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices and has published in numerous anthologies and journals.

Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, Arab-American punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of Extratransmission (Kelsey Street Press, 2019) and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). Their second book, Villainy (Nightboat Books, Sept 2021) reimagines militant collectivity in the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire and the Muslim Ban. They are a leo obsessed with queer terror and convertibles.

Bazeed is an Egyptian immigrant, writer, performance artist, stage actor and cook living in Brooklyn. An alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays and pantry lists, their work across genres has been published in print and online, and their plays performed on stages in the United States and abroad, including most recently, Kilo Batra: In Death More Radiant, in December 2021 at the Arab American National Museum. Bazeed is currently at work on a book-length erasure of The Arab Mind, written by the accomplished racist Raphael Patai; The Sunshine School Songbook, a solo cabaret sponsored by late-stage capitalism and the algorithms of Gulf Labor dystopias; and on the second draft of their so-faggy-it’s-in-the-title! play, faggy faafi Cairo boy.

Fargo Tbakhi is a queer Palestinian performance artist, a Taurus and a cool breeze.

George Abraham (they/he) is a Palestinian American poet, writer, performance artist and engineer who was born and raised on unceded Timucuan lands (Jacksonville, FL). Their debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry) won the Arab American Book Award and the Big Other Book Award and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. They are a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers, and recipient of fellowships from The Arab American National Museum, The Boston Foundation and Kundiman. Their poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, Mizna and elsewhere. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard University, they are currently a Litowitz MFA+MA Candidate in poetry at Northwestern University.


Amir Rabiyah - Website | Amir Rabiyah - Instagram

Andrea Abi-Karam -Website | Andrea Abi-Karam - Twitter 

Bazeed - Instagram 

Fargo Tbakhi - Website | Fargo Tbakhi - Twitter   

George Abraham - Website | George Abraham - Instagram 


Gather, share knowledge and celebrate our unique identities at the queerest library ever. 

For more resources, the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center is the gateway to the Library’s broader collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual history and culture, with a special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area.

Programs designed to celebrate the art of the poem, including readings and talks.

This program honors the diverse cultures, traditions and histories of Southwest Asian and North African heritage.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

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The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.