Wanting in Arabic is a refusal of convenient silences, convenient stories. The author dwells on the contradictions of a transsexual poetics, in its attendant disfigurations of lyric, ghazal, l'ecriture feminine, and, in particular, her own sexed voice. Without a memory of her father's language, the questions her poems ask are those for a home known through photographs, for a language lost with childhood. Braiding theoretical concerns with the ambivalences of sexed and raced identity, with profound romanticism, Wanting in Arabic attempts to traverse the fantasies of foundational loss and aggressive nostalgia in order to further a poetics of a conscious partiality of being, of generous struggle and comic rather than tragic misrecognition.
Trish Salah's recent writing appears in the journals Eleven Eleven, Feminist Studies, Journal of Medical Humanities, No More Potlucks, and in the anthologies, Selling Sex, Féminismes électriques, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Her research investigates the emergence of Transgender Minor/ity Literatures. Her first book, Wanting in Arabic, was published by TSAR in 2002 and launched in a new edition in 2013. She is co-editor of a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, focused on Trans* Cultural Production, out in 2014, as is her new book, Lyric Sexology, Vol. 1. She is currently assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Transgressing Femme Identity, and Bent on Writing.
Praise for the first edition:
"Trish Salah's poetic sequence is not simply a narrative of gender change; it's a wandering, thoughtful text, one both fierce and tremulous." - Erin Mouré
"...Salah's writing bosoms up every damn dam in the literary waterway." - The Globe and Mail