February WordFest: Words of immigrants passing through life

WordFest celebrates the immigrant experience on Tuesday, February 11, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Cassava Coffeehouse, 1333 Broadway in Longview.

Mohammad Bader, an Arab American, Palestinian poet, will read from his 2011 collection of poetry, The Traveler.

Born in East Jerusalem, much of his poetry reflects his experience as a first generation immigrant. Mohammad majored in English at Bethlehem University and later studied counseling at Portland State University.

Many of the poems in his book The Traveler were originally written in Arabic then translated by him into English. The poems span a 25-year period of Mohammad’s life in America and examine four themes: Love Man-Woman relationships, Peace Versus War, The Immigrant and The Mother Land, and Utopia Versus Morbidity.  Many of the poems are based on actual events and continuing issues, including the Palestinian Intifada, the Gulf war and later Iraq war, and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mohammad hopes and dreams for peace and justice, specifically between Israel and Palestine.  

His poetry can be found at thearabiantraveler@blogspot.com

Craig Allen Heath will read poems from his book The End of an Ordinary Life, which won the 2017 Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-book Award in the poetry category. The contest judge wrote: “we are presented with poems of memory and loss, poems that seek to rekindle and reclaim with delicate and precise description a window that we can all see through…who can say when we reach the end? What is ordinary? – while pursuing a sense of poetic possibilities.”

He will also be reading from his unpublished novel, For Want of Scripture. He is seeking representation for it while working on the second book in the series, The Buddha on the Road.

Craig has over 40 years’ experience in technical and commercial writing. He began as a reporter/journalist in the 1980s, then moved into the growing software industry, while continuing to write poetry, short fiction and plays. He is now renewing his original life goal of becoming a novelist.

A year after losing their home to the wildfire in Paradise, California,  Craig and his wife, Pat, now reside in southwest Washington where “we are rebuilding our life, falling in love with a new community, and counting our innumerable blessings.”

He publishes stories, poems and essays on Medium, and offers more information on his website, craigallenheath.com

There will be an open mic period following the presentations.

The monthly gathering of readers and writers meets the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00-8:00 PM, at Cassava. The events are free and open to the public.

Cassava offers a dinner menu for those who wish to enjoy a meal with the readings, as well as local wines and brews.

For more information, contact Alan Rose at www.alan-rose.com.