Here the mirror image of the almost hallucinatory, heart-rending loss of the familiar is literary defamiliarization. Arsanios both mourns and blasts apart the notion of the mother tongue, reminding us that for each “mother tongue” at least another tongue is silenced. Desire propels her genre-defying writing, which grief notwithstanding still manages to tongue languages, and that is her genius. — Mónica de la Torre
Mirene Arsanios is the author of the short story collection The City Outside the Sentence (Ashkal Alwan). She has contributed essays and short stories to e-flux journal, Vida, The Brooklyn Rail, The Rumpus, and Guernica, among others. Arsanios co-founded the collective 98weeks Research Project in Beirut and is the founding editor of Makhzin, a bilingual English/Arabic magazine for innovative writing. She teaches at Pratt Institute and holds an MFA in Writing from the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College. Arsanios currently lives in New York where she was a 2016 LMCC Workspace fellow, and an ART OMI resident in fall 2017. With Rachel Valinsky, she coordinated the Friday night reading series at the Poetry Project from 2017–19.