NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2022 BY LIT HUB AND THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
“O is so full of music and passion for life . . . Zeina Hashem Beck’s poems unfold the abundance of our world.” —Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic
From a “brilliant, absolutely essential voice” whose “poems feel like whole worlds” (Naomi Shihab Nye), a poetry collection considering the body physical, the body politic, and the body sacred
Zeina Hashem Beck writes at the intersection of the divine and the profane, where she crafts elegant, candid poems that simultaneously exude a boundless curiosity and a deep knowingness. Formally electrifying—from lyrics and triptychs to ghazals and Zeina's own duets, in which English and Arabic echo and contradict each other—O explores the limits of language, notions of home and exile, and stirring visions of motherhood, memory, and faith.
Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet and the author of two previous full-length collections of poetry: Louder than Hearts (Bauhan Publishing, 2017) and To Live in Autumn (The Backwaters Press, 2014), as well as two chapbooks: 3arabi Song (Rattle, 2016) and There Was and How Much There Was (smith|doorstop, 2016). Educated in Arabic, English, and French, Zeina has a BA and an MA in English Literature from the American University of Beirut. Her poem “Maqam” won Poetry’s 2017 Frederick Bock Prize, and her work appeared in The New York Times, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. Zeina is the co-creator and co-host, with poet Farah Chamma, of Maqsouda, a podcast about Arabic poetry produced by Sowt. After a lifetime in Lebanon and a decade in Dubai, Zeina recently moved to California with her husband and two daughters.