(Baghdad, 1967) is a poet, novelist, scholar, and translator. He holds degrees from Baghdad, Georgetown, and Harvard, where he earned a doctorate in Arabic literature. He has published two collections of poetry and four novels. His works have been translated into nine languages. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book In the Presence of Absence
won the 2012 American Literary Translators’ Award. His translation of his own novel, The Corpse Washer
, won the 2014 Saif Ghobash Prize for Literary Translation and was longlisted for the International Prize for Foreign Fiction. His third novel, Ya Maryam
, was shortlisted for the Arabic Booker. His scholarly works include The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf
(Palgrave, 2014). In 2003 he returned to his native Baghdad to co-direct About Baghdad
, a documentary about life under occupation. He is co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya
. He is an associate professor at New York University.