Zeina Azzam is a Palestinian American poet, writer, editor, and community activist. She was selected as the Poet Laureate of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, in April 2022 and serves in this position for three years, from 2022 to 2025. Her full-length poetry collection, Some Things Never Leave You, was published in July 2023 by Tiger Bark Press. Zeina's chapbook, Bayna Bayna, In-Between, was published in 2021 by The Poetry Box, which nominated one of her poems ("Traveling with the Speed of Light") for the Pushcart Prize. In November 2022, The KNOT Magazine also nominated Zeina's poem, "Death in War," for a Pushcart.
Zeina's poetry appears in a number of literary journals including Pleiades, Plume, ONE ART, Vox Populi, Mizna, Sukoon, Passager, Gyroscope, Barzakh, Pensive Journal, Split This Rock, Streetlight Magazine, Cutleaf Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Voice Male. In addition, Zeina’s poems are published in anthologies and edited volumes such as Bettering American Poetry,Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by and for Refugees, Resilient Kitchens: American Immigrant Cooking in a Time of Crisis,Making Levantine Cuisine: Modern Foodways of the Eastern Mediterranean, Tales from Six Feet Apart, and Gaza Unsilenced. Her poem, “You Birth the Seeds,” was set as a choral piece by renowned composer Melissa Dunphy.
In addition to participating regularly in poetry readings locally and nationally, Zeina serves as a mentor for We Are Not Numbers, a writing program for youth in Gaza, and volunteers for humanitarian organizations that support Palestinian development. She is also active in Grassroots Alexandria, a local group that advocates for the civil rights of vulnerable communities in Alexandria, Virginia, where she lives. Her educational background includes an M.A. in Arabic literature from Georgetown University, an M.A. in sociology from George Mason University, and a B.A. in psychology from Vassar College.