Nathalie Khankan's poetry collection wins California Book Award

August 16, 2021

Nathalie Khankan's poetry collection Quiet Orient Riot, published in 2020 with the University of Chicago Press, was awarded the 2021 California Book Award in Poetry. Many congratulations to Nathalie!

The book is described as follows:

Quiet Orient Riot is an exploration of the tendons of motherhood, its mutinies and munificences. It is also a book of births and the politics of birth-regimes. Recounting a journey to bear a Palestinian child in the occupied Palestinian territory, the poems conjure up maternity as forecast, tally, weapon; its many filtrations through liturgical command and demographic anxiety. Maternity is made possible through contingent access to Israel’s sophisticated fertility treatment infrastructure, and it’s made impossible as it coincides with Israel’s 2009 assault on the Gaza Strip. What kind of language, then, can hold a body inside a body through emergency, diminishment, and into resistance and bloom? What kind of language might hold precarious humanhood?