Laala Kashef Alghata Biography

Laala Kashef Alghata was born in 1990. Her first book, 'Friendship in Knots' was written was published in 2003 as the first book written in English by a Bahraini writer. At 16, she published her second book, Behind the Mask: A Folded Heart, a poetry collection.

She is a poet-in-residence on several online journals, including The Peregrine Muse and Other Voices International project. Her poetry has been published in various journals online and in print, including All Things Girl, Argotist Online, La Fenetre and The Blotter.

In 2008, her poem, I Want to Feel Van Gogh's Night, was the focus of a month-long exhibit in Clemson, SC. She is also featured in Gathering The Tide, a contemporary anthology of Gulf poets.

She is also the founder and editor of the online poetry journal, Write Me a Metaphor, which is currently in hiatus.

On her writing:

“[In] this stark and affecting portrait... like the portraits of the lost souls and disenfranchised who appear in Rilke’s great New Poems volumes, Alghata’s tone is at once coolly objective and yet somehow deeply empathic. This balance is achieved through various small but ruthlessly ironic details – the quietly savage lines about the flowers for sale being “something to decay, /fill the car with summer smells”; the nonchalance of the man who remains at the intersection after his companion has left the scene, and the deadpan closure. The social criticism is withering but always remains implicit. There is no need to mention the social injustice that sometimes lies behind the Gulf states’ glitz – an injustice most acutely felt by the vast number of ill-paid foreign guest workers whose labours allow the glitz to shine. We do not know for certain if the flower sellers are guest workers or native Bahrainis, but it is easy to conclude that they are the former. What we do know is that Alghata handles the scene masterfully, ” David Wojahn on ‘Roadside Flowers’