U of A’s Mohja Kahf Wins Poetry Book Award

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Faculty Points of Pride, Features

Professor Mohja Kahf

Professor Mohja Kahf

U of A professor Mohja Kahf was recently named the winner of the 2020 Press 53 Award for Poetry for her manuscript, My Lover Feeds Me Grapefruit.

The book features poems that converse with the erotic poetry of Arab women from the 7th, 11th and 12th centuries.

Kahf is a professor in the Department of English, the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Program and the Middle East Studies Program.

Her book was selected from over 350 manuscripts; it joins the Tom Lombardo Poetry Series at Press 53. The 70-page volume includes a poem in which many Fayetteville audiences have chimed as part of a participatory chorus, “I Love a Man Who Washes My Dishes.” 

Kahf, whose students call her “Prof Kahf,” says, “My Lover Feeds Me Grapefruit explores an ethics of eros,” citing:

Never drink while another is thirsty—
You first. No, you. We could dance
like this forever.

The book, with a preface by Kashmiri-heritage Canadian poet Rahat Kurd and cover art by Syrian Canadian Amina Jalabi, will be out in March. Pre-orders are available.

A version of this story also appeared in the U of A’s Newswire publication.

Kevin Watson


Press 53

336-414-5599 // kevin@press53.com