Hala Alyan


HALA ALYAN is the author of the novel Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize, as well as the forthcoming novel The Arsonists’ City, and four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has been published by the New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets, Lit Hub, The New York Times Book Review, and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, where she works as a clinical psychologist. Source


Of this room remember heat. A fight with my father and

glass evil eyes. The television sparking like a glamorous fish.


We’ve turned off every lightbulb, fan each other with foreign

magazines. I take photographs of stray dogs. In the car,


the Turkish driver listens to horse races on the radio.

I won, he tells us. I dress like a pillar. I want to burn the verbs


I mispronounce to the Egyptian waiter. My uterus bleeds from Athens

to Istanbul and the moon is a spider tracking its white mud


across the sky. Orange blossoms open like pepper in the courtyard.

Everywhere, blue rooftops. Antibiotics for my infected jaw.


We take Rome with us to Rome. At the passport control line,

you tell me to let you speak. You tell them I'm with you.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Intersectionality & Culture

Poems of Place


Literary Devices:


The repetition of similar vowel sounds that takes place in two or more words in proximity to each other within a line; usually refers to the repetition of internal vowel sounds in words that do not end the same.


two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”