Bilingual Writing and Translation Residency

Postponed until 2021!

In coordination with the Departments of English and Arabic and Near Eastern Studies, and supported by the Center for Arts and Humanities of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at AUB, Rusted Radishes will host its first bilingual writing and translation residency at AREC, AUB Farm in Bekaa, Lebanon between April 16 and 20, 2020.

This residency comprises a series of lectures, panels, workshops and meetings concentrated in a four-night, five-day residency bring together international and local writers, translators, and faculty together with local students in a bilingual environment to work on their creative writing and translation projects. This project builds and develops on the work that Rusted Radishes and Tarjamat have been doing for the last few years. It continues to bolster collaboration with the Department of Arabic and to increase the activity between writers and translators of Arabic and English.

The setting in the Bekaa offers a context where participants can be disconnected from the city to immerse in a literary world in rural landscapes. While students will workshop manuscripts on any subject, the topics of nature, the Anthropocene, ecological politics, and agrarian impoverishment are relevant starting points for the writer to meditate on life writing during the residency.

This is a student-centered residency. Students will experience very close mentorship of their work and will bring work in progress to the residency to workshop their own and others’ work. They will attend craft and literary panels and lectures by established writing and translation faculty. Ultimately, they will gain the full immersive residency experience.

Faculty Members

Our international and local residency faculty are published professional writers, translators, and academics.

Translation, Arabic and English
Humphrey Davies has published some twenty-five works of Arabic literature in English since he started translating in 2003. Many of his translations have been of modern novels while others are of older works, ranging from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. He read Arabic at Cambridge, received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and before becoming a translator worked for community development and research organizations in Palestine, Tunisia, Sudan, and Egypt. He lives in Cairo.

Arabic Literature
Zeina Halabi is Associate Professor of Arabic Literature at the American University of Beirut. She specializes in modern Arabic literature with particular interest in questions of loss, mourning, and dissidence in contemporary literature and visual culture. In her first book The Unmaking of the Arab Intellectual: Prophecy, Exile, and the Nation (2017), she examines the depiction of Arab intellectuals in post-1990s fiction and film. She has authored articles on the shifting notion of political commitment in the writings of canonical and emerging Arab writers. She is the Arabic editor at Rusted Radishes: Beirut Literary and Art Journal.

Translation Studies
Rana Issa is Assistant professor of Translation Studies at the American University of Beirut. She obtained her Ph.D at the University of Oslo. She has published historical studies about the Bible, Arabic lexicography, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, and is currently working on translation in contemporary Syrian literature and film. She has translated theory and literature between Arabic, English, and Norwegian. She is the Translations editor at Rusted Radishes: Beirut Literary and Art Journal. She is a proud Beiruti and mother of two.

Poetry and Prose in Arabic
Iman Mersal serves as Associate Professor of Arabic literature and Middle Eastern and African Studies at the University of Alberta. She co-founded Bint al-Ard (Daughter of the Earth), which she co-edited from 1986 to 1992. Her work has appeared in Blackbird, The American Poetry Review, Parnassus, and Paris Review. Selected poems from Mersal’s oeuvre have been translated into numerous languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Macedonian, Hindi, and Italian. These Are Not Oranges, My Love, a selection of Mersal’s work translated into English by Khaled Mattawa, was published by Sheep Meadow Press, New York in 2008. Her most recent books include How to Mend: Motherhood and Its Ghosts (2018) and In the footsteps of Enayat al- Zayyat (2019).

Poetry in English
Dante Micheaux is author of Amorous Shepherd and Circus, which won the 2019 Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the T. S. Eliot Foundation. His poems and translations have appeared in Poetry, PN Review, The American Poetry Review, Callaloo and Rattapallax—among other journals and anthologies. He has been shortlisted for the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. Micheaux’s other honors include fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and The New York Times Foundation.

Fiction in English
Lina Mounzer is an essayist, fiction writer, and translator living in Beirut. Her essays and fiction have appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Literary Hub, Bidoun, Warscapes, as well as in the anthologies Hikayat: An Anthology of Lebanese Women’s Writing (Telegram Books: 2007) and the forthcoming Tales of Two Planets (Penguin Books: 2020), an anthology of writing on climate change and inequality. She has contributed long-form features on Middle Eastern literature, TV, and music to AramcoWorld Magazine, Brownbook ME, and Middle East Eye.

Creative Nonfiction in English
Rima Rantisi is a faculty member in the Department of English at the American University of Beirut. She is the founding editor of Rusted Radishes: Beirut Literary and Art Journal, which publishes artists and writers from Lebanon, its diaspora, and the region and is currently in its eighth circulation. Her essays can be found in the anthology Arab Women Voice New Realities, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Sweet: A Literary Confection. Her essay “Days of Pearls,” published in The Slag Glass City was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

How to Apply

Deadline: March 20

This residency is open to all locals currently residing in Lebanon. All applicants must send the following in a single document to info@rustedradishes.com. Please see below for genre-specific details*:

  • A cover page including your name, bio, literary genre, and the names and contact information (email and phone) of two references whom we may contact during our review process.
  • A 500-word personal statement that explains why you are applying to the residency (ie. What do you hope to gain? What interests you?) and a reflection on your creative writing or translation life.
  • Sample of your creative work in progress.


Poetry: submit at least 3 poems, 10-page max, single-spaced, one poem per page
Fiction: submit 4000 words max; may include novel excerpts, one or multiple stories, double-spaced
Creative Nonfiction: submit 4000-word max; may include one or multiple essays, double-spaced
Translations: submit 4000-word max with original piece; may include one or multiple pieces, double-spaced

Works may be in-progress, but please note that your writing sample will weigh heavily in the decision process.


This residency is free, sponsored by the American University of Beirut’s Center for Arts and Humanities. Students will stay in the dorms of the AREC Farm and have access to the whole grounds. Most meals will be covered. Participants will receive more information upon acceptance.