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Jenny Sadre-Orafai

Poet, Writer, Teacher, Editor


Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of Malak, Paper Cotton Leather, and five chapbooks. Book of Levitations, her poetry collection with Anne Champion is forthcoming from Trembling Pillow Press in 2019. Her poetry has appeared in Cream City ReviewNinth LetterThe Cortland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Pinch, and other journals. Her prose has appeared in Los Angeles ReviewThe RumpusSouth Loop ReviewFourteen HillsThe Collagist, and other journalsShe is co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly, Professor of English at Kennesaw State University, and Executive Director of Georgia Writers Association.



Jenny Sadre-Orafai’s Malak is a splendidly written book that considers where metaphysical themes and elliptical lyric intersect. At its core, this collection inquires about spiritual inheritance and relationships through the skillful deployment of images that wrap the reader in their clutch. Sadre-Orafai’s poems, rooted in memory, mourning and honor, are hauntingly surreal yet solidly material.

Airea D. Matthews, author of simulacra

In Malak, Jenny Sadre-Orafai takes your hand and walks you through magnificent worlds where futures appear in coffee grounds and become a “language of residue,” into the habitats of snakes, foxes, and girls, and a dream can appear nine times. Familial cycles and cultural identities are rendered in enchanting images and lines. Jenny Sadre-Orafai makes the tales of bloodlines fresh and the wild earth new.

Wendy C. Ortiz, author of Excavation and Bruja

Invoking talisman, totem, fortune, and spell, Jenny Sadre-Orafai’s Malak abides in the rich world of lineage and divination. Listening back to the potent augury of the poet’s grandmother and forward to the intuition of her daughter, these are poems that move in circular time enacting “how our whole gold life is happening.” Malak makes a startling lyric music with its nested selves and layered voices, its locks and keys and teeth in the dark, polishing to an ontological shine what we know and what can be retrieved from the future.

Jennifer K. Sweeney, author of Little Spells