National Poetry Month Spotlight: Hala Alyan

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2016! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections.

Today’s featured poet is Hala Alyan, author of Four Cities.

The clouds owl-eye the sky,
gaped at by moon. Yes,
I dreamt we wed. A priest
fed us rice and sugar,
the cathedral was locked.
Trees litter Brooklyn streets
with blossoms. I wake to Iraq,
to neighbors kissing.
I am a ghost ship
smothered by Neruda’s stars.
Is that what you wanted?
To hear me say I ache? I ache.
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Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American poet and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in numerous journals including The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner and Columbia Poetry Review. Her poetry collection ATRIUM (Three Rooms Press) was awarded the 2013 Arab American Book Award in Poetry. FOUR CITIES, her second collection, was recently released by Black Lawrence Press. Her latest collection, HIJRA, was selected as a winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press.