March 16 – 30, 2022

Joumana Altallal

Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese writer who was born in Baghdad, and grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her recent work has appeared in The Rumpus, Muzzle Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

She is the recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writer’s Conference, and the Radius for Arab American Writers. You can find Joumana on Twitter @joualt, or by visiting www.joumanaaltallal.com.

At Good Hart, Joumana will continue working on her first book, a hybrid poetry collection that explores themes of desire and destruction—namely how Iraqis (and in particular Iraqi women), find love, balance and settling inside the struggle of desires that have the capacity to destroy them. She is interested also in the historical and figurative relationship America has with Iraq, and the ways Americans have come to consume Iraq always, and exclusively through a lens.

Community Event

Photo college of Eco Poetry workshop done by Joumana Altallal with Pellston High School students.

Thank You Poem

Our faces when we heard we were going on a field trip (Maddy & Erin)

Cold feet, no coat, surprise field trip (Halle)

The peaceful walk through the woods, the squish of the mud, and the white of the snow (Matthew) 

The chill of the wintergreen matched the chill of the air (Willow)

The captivating scenery was a lovely sight to behold (Ronnie)

THE WIND and the crunching of the ice (Madison & Sophie)  

Wet socks, cold hands, socially-awkward English Teacher (Liv) 

The dainty coats were delicate (Angel) 

A goofy group, cold air, yet a cozy, warm cabin (Grace)

The still lake that stretched across the forest (Aliviah)   

Pens moving, papers turning, marshmallows melting (Hailey)

Writing a fun, ridiculous poem (Haleigh & Vlad)

Ms. Joumana letting us write fire poems about sharks and monkeys (Brach)

The kindness of the people was truly graceful (Chris)  

That hot chocolate was bussin (Chance) 

The cookie made up for the cold outdoors – it was worth it! (Molly) 

Absent-minded teacher forgetting his bags (Aubrey) 

Taking home sticks and bringing them into the school (Emma & Logan)

Mr. Powell’s 9th Grade Class at Pellston High School