Zeina Azzam, a Palestinian American poet, writer, editor, and community activist, is currently the Poet Laureate of the City of Alexandria, Virginia. Her full-length poetry collection, Some Things Never Leave You, was published by Tiger Bark Press in July 2023. In the words of Luisa Igloria (20th poet laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Emerita), "Despite the wars that wage in the world and a multitude of things we can no longer claim, these poems find anchor in their belief in the goodness of family and the wisdom of ancestors." Poet Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (author of Kaan and Her Sisters and Water & Salt)adds that "Through her childhood memories in Arab cities to the repeated farewells and departures of exile, Azzam’s poems alternately mourn and celebrate the wonders of life." Poet James Crews (author of Kindness Will Save the World) writes that "Whether reaching out to a mother in Baghdad wailing for her lost son, or relishing the spices of childhood, Azzam’s necessary poetry roots itself in the earth that belongs not just to one country or one person, but to all of us."
Zeina's chapbook, Bayna Bayna, In-Between, was published in 2021 by The Poetry Box. The back cover statement by Maryland State Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri says that in this collection, Zeina "creates a world of beauty and patience, even when ideals are shattered." Literary Activist E. Ethelbert Miller offers that "Zeina Azzam writes about being the history book and the poem. She writes between mind and heart." The themes that Zeina's poetry addresses include war and displacement, the refugee and immigrant experiences, the elusive distance between home and exile, the feeling of being in-between cultures and languages and identities, and encounters with different kinds of loss. Zeina notes in her book that she has a “bicultural and bilingual view of the world that is bewildering, enriching, and beautiful, all at the same time.” Her poetry is also inspired by the natural, wondrous world, the joys and challenges of personal relationships, and social justice issues.