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And/With: Iman Mersal + Aditi Machado

In collaboration with Belladonna*


Monday, May 14, 2018, 6:30-8:30pm

3 Howard Street, New York, NY 10013


Seating is limited, please by May 10, 2018.


Belladonna* and IAIA are proud to co-present an evening of literature featuring Iman Mersal and Aditi Machado. The readings will be followed by a conversation between the two writers, moderated by Omar Berrada. New Belladonna* chaplets from each reader will be released and available for purchase at the night of the event.


Aditi Machado’s reading and the following discussion will be conducted in English, while Iman Mersal’s reading, about the agency of accents and the displacement of voice, will alternate between English and Arabic.

Aditi Machado is a poet, translator, and editor. She is the author of the book Some Beheadings (Nightboat, 2017) and two chapbooks: Route: Marienbad (Further Other Book Works, 2016) and The Robing of the Bride (Dzanc, 2013). Her translation of Farid Tali’s Prosopopoeia was published by Action (2016). Recent work (poetry, criticism, and translations) can be found in Poor Claudia, FOLDER Magazine, VOLT, Witness, Chicago Review, Jacket2, Almost Island, and The Guardian. Aditi edits poetry in translation for Asymptote and is writing her dissertation at the University of Denver.

Iman Mersal is an Egyptian poet, essayist, translator and literary scholar. She is the author of five books of Arabic poetry, selections from which have been translated into several languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Hebrew and Hindi. In English translation, her poems have appeared in Parnassus, Paris Review, The Nation, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review and Michigan Quarterly Review. A selection of Mersal's poetry, entitled These Are Not Oranges, My Love, and translated by the poet Khaled Mattawa, was published in 2008 (Sheep Meadow Press). Her most recent publications include an Arabic translation of Charles Simic's memoir, A Fly in the Soup (Al Kotob Khan, 2016, Cairo), and a group of essays, How to mend: on motherhood and its ghosts (Kayfa ta and Mophradat, 2017). Forthcoming in 2017 is Images of America in Arabic Travel Literature (in Arabic, Al Kotob Khan), based on her 2009 dissertation from Cairo University. In Egypt, Mersal served as editor of two cultural and literary reviews, Bint al-Ard (from 1986 to 1992), which she also co-founded, and Adab wa Naqd (from 1994 to 1996). She moved to Boston in 1998, and then to Edmonton, Canada, where she is currently an associate professor of Arabic literature at the University of Alberta. She was a EUME Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, 2012-13.

Omar Berrada is a writer and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech. Previously, he organized public programs at the Centre Pompidou, hosted shows on French national radio, and ran Tangier’s International Book Salon. He recently edited The Africans, a book on racial politics in Morocco, and curated group shows centering on the archive of writer and filmmaker Ahmed Bouanani. His translations include books by Jalal Toufic, Stanley Cavell and Joan Retallack. He was the guest curator of the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize and is a co-editor of Sharjah Biennial’s web journal Currently living in New York, he teaches at The Cooper Union.

Belladonna* Collaborative's programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Belladonna* Collaborative's programs and publications are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

Curated by Ana Paula & Asiya Wadud


About Belladonna*

Belladonna* is a feminist avant-garde collaborative that publishes and promotes the work of writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, unpredictable, and dangerous with language. Since its founding in 1999 as a reading and salon series at Bluestockings Bookstore, Belladonna has grown into a publisher of chaplets, chapbooks, and full-length books of poetry and multi-genre writing, with a particular focus on fostering the work of writers who write off-center—poetry and prose that is political and critical, that is situational rather than plot-driven, that is inter-subjective or performative or witnessing rather than personally revelatory, that reaches across the boundaries and binaries of literary genre and artistic fields, and that questions the gender binary.


In 2000, Belladonna* started its chaplet series, producing limited edition booklets containing ephemeral, in-progress work by each of its readers. In recent years the series became mobile and was renamed "And/With" with the intention to foster and celebrate partnerships between Belladonna* and various institutions, with a focus on collaborative curation and spreading the project of the feminist avant-garde across diverse boroughs and communities. On May 14th, the chaplet catalogue will have reached #232 and #233 with contributions from Aditi Machado and Iman Mersal, released and available at the night of the event.

A special thanks to Mophradat as a co-sponsor of this event.

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