Weave Stories About War in Dunya Mikhail’s “The Iraqi Nights”
Acclaimed Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail stuns with her third collection of poetry, The Iraqi Nights. In her newest collection, Mikhail imagines herself as a modern-day Scheherazade who must tell stories to herself in order to find the motivation to keep on living.
At night, the hours feel endless and the dark closes in around her as she worries whether or not things like war will ever end. However, despite the horrors she’s faced, Mikhail’s poetry also reveals a yearning dream for a future beyond violence, hate, and death. She muses that she’d like to live in a country where she can live an ordinary life and not have to worry about wars.
All of Mikhail’s poems have a deep intimate quality to them and they take the reader back and forth from Iraq and the United States. Her work is not only full of different emotions, she also lets her you get a sense of the harsh realities she’s seen over the years as well as the hope that still springs eternal in her soul. With beautiful illustrations that were based on ancient Sumerian tablets that accompany Mikhail’s moving work, The Iraqi Nights is a haunting and captivating collection of poetry that will ensnare you into its beguiling spell.