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Join us on Tuesday, January 30 at 7 PM as Ani Gjika presents her memoir, An Unruled Body. She will be joined in conversation by Yasmine Ameli
In a searching and powerful debut memoir, award-winning poet and literary translator Ani Gjika tells a different kind of immigrant story by writing about the ways a woman listens to her own body, intuition, and desire.
Ani Gjika was born in Albania and came of age just after the fall of Communism, a time in which everyone had a secret to keep and young women were afraid to walk down the street alone. When her family immigrates to America, Gjika finds herself far from the grandmother who helped raise her, grappling with a new language, and isolated from aging parents who are trying in their own ways to survive. Then she meets a young man whose mind leans toward writing as hers does, and Ani falls in love--at least, she thinks it's love.
Set across four countries--Albania, Thailand, India, and the U.S.--An Unruled Body tells the story of a young woman's journey to selfhood through the lenses of language, sexuality, and identity, and how she learned to find freedom of expression on her own terms.
Albanian-born writer Ani Gjika is the author and literary translator of eight books and chapbooks of poetry, among them Bread on Running Waters (Fenway Press, 2013), a finalist for the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Her translation from the Albanian of Luljeta Lleshanaku’s Negative Space (New Directions and Bloodaxe Books, 2018) won an English PEN Award and was shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize, PEN America Award, and Best Translated Book Award. She is a graduate of Boston University’s MFA program where she was a 2011 Robert Pinsky Global fellow, and GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator program, where she was a 2019 Pauline Scheer Fellow. Having taught creative writing at various universities in the U.S. and Thailand, Gjika currently teaches social studies and literature to English language learners at Framingham High School in Massachusetts.
Yasmine Ameli (she/her) is a queer biracial Iranian American writer from and currently based in Massachusetts. Her poems and essays have been published or are forthcoming in POETRY, Ploughshares, The Sun, the Southern Review, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere; and her writing has received support from Poets and Writers, Reese’s Book Club, MASS MoCA, and Monson Arts, Franconia Sculpture Park. In addition to teaching through Grub Street, Hugo House, and the Loft Literary Center, Yasmine works as a creative writing coach. She holds a BA in English from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Virginia Tech. Learn more at yasmineameli.com and @yasmineameli on Instagram.
This event is free and open to the public, but we request that you RSVP/