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Unknown Flower with Nomi Stone & Sham-e-Ali Nayeem

  • Nick Virgilio Writers House 1801 Broadway Camden United States (map)
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We’re so excited to celebrate new books from Nomi Stone & Sham-e-Ali Nayeem at our Unknown Flower poetry reading series.

Unknown Flower is a monthly poetry reading series at the Nick Virgilio Writers House in Camden, NJ. The series takes its name from a haiku Nick Virgilio wrote for his younger brother who died in the Vietnam War: “deep in rank grass, / through a bullet-riddled helmet: / an unknown flower”. We’ll gather together monthly to celebrate poetry that pierces through what would destroy, that survives and thrives, that blooms despite.

This event is free. A brief open mic will follow the featured readers.


NOMI STONE is a poet and an anthropologist, and the author of two poetry collections, Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly 2008) and Kill Class (Tupelo 2019). Winner of a Pushcart Prize, Stone’s poems appear recently in POETRY, American Poetry Review, The New Republic, Bettering American Poetry, The Best American Poetry, Tin House, New England Review, and elsewhere. Her anthropological articles recently appear in Cultural Anthropology and American Ethnologist, and her ethnographic monographic, Pinelandia: Human Technology and American Empire, is currently a finalist for the University of California Press Atelier series for Ethnographic Inquiry in the 21st Century. Kill Class is based on two years of fieldwork she conducted within war trainings in mock Middle Eastern villages erected by the US military across America. Stone has a PhD in anthropology from Columbia, an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and teaches at Princeton University.

SHAM-E-ALI NAYEEM is a poet and visual artist who was born in Hyderabad, India and raised in both the UK and the US. A former public interest lawyer supporting economic justice for survivors of family and intimate partner violence, she is the recipient of the Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship. Sham-e-Ali’s poetry has appeared in publications, such as Apiary, Dusie and Mizna, and can be found in anthologies, including Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out (Olive Branch Press, 2005), Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak (Beacon Press, 2005) and Shout Out: Women of Color Respond to Violence (Seal Press, 2008).

Earlier Event: April 8
The Writer's Block
Later Event: May 1
Writer's Workout