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Origin Story

Hala Alyan

The poem was first published in The Aleph Review, Vol. 3 (2019) and has been curated for the website by digital guest editor for May 2022, Mina Malik. Due to the visual format of the poem, it is presented here as an image.

Synergy by Maryam Baniasadi


Hala Alyan is a Palestinian-American poet and clinical psychologist. She was born in Carbondale, Illinois, and grew up in Kuwait, Oklahoma, Texas, Maine and Lebanon. She earned a BA from the American University of Beirut and an MA from Columbia University. While completing her doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University, she specialised in trauma and addiction work with various populations. Alyan’s poetry collections include Atrium (2012), winner of the 2013 Arab American Book Award in Poetry, Four Cities (2015) and Hijra (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. She is the author of the novel Salt Houses (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017). She has been awarded a Lannan Foundation fellowship and lives in Manhattan.

About the featured artist: Maryam Baniasadi is an Iranian visual artist based in Lahore, Pakistan. She is currently practicing between Iran and Pakistan. Her work is derived from miniature painting techniques and nature around her. Maryam has participated in several shows, such as the 2019 Teer Art Fair in Tehran showcasing contemporary miniature artists of Iran. The featured piece was published in her fifth volume (2021).

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