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Photo by Ibtisam Azem

Sinan Antoon

Photo by Ibtisam Azem

Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, translator, and scholar. Born and raised in Baghdad, he left for the United States after the 1991 Gulf War and was educated at Georgetown and Harvard where he obtained a doctorate in Arabic Literature in 2006. His novels include I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (City Lights, 2006); The Corpse Washer (Yale University Press, 2013), which was longlisted for the Independent International Fiction Prize in 2014 and won the Best Arab American Book Award and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Literary Translation; The Book of Collateral Damage (Yale University Press, 2019); and Postcards from the Underworld (Seagull, 2023), a collection of self-translated poems.

His other translations from the Arabic include Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence (Archipelago, 2011), which won the 2012 National Translation Award given by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and a selection of Saadi Youssef’s late work, Nostalgia, My Enemy (Graywolf, 2012).

Antoon returned to his native Baghdad in 2003 to co-produce and co-direct the documentary film About Baghdad (InCounter Productions, 2004), about Iraq under occupation. He is an associate professor at New York University's Gallatin School and co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.

  • 2014