Mona Kareem

Mona Kareem is the author of three poetry collections. She is a translator in residence at Princeton University. Her most recent publication Femme Ghosts is a trilingual chapbook which appeared with Publication Studio in 2019. Kareem has been a featured writer at festivals in Cairo, Istanbul, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Seoul, Copenhagen, and in the United States.

Mona Kareem


Poetry Centre Stage »

ReadingMona Kareem, Michael Grieve

Fri 12 March | 17:00 - 18:00 | FREE | StAnza Online

Festival Launch Extravaganza »

Enjoy a sneak peek of some of the highlights of StAnza 2021

Sat 6 March | 19:00 - 20:00 | FREE | StAnza Online



It's been a long night tonight; I have sent in 
my application for a sleep permit hours ago, 
I-444. I got a notification it is being processed 
at the Nebraska Center for Insomniac Aliens. 
They first returned it saying I checked 
the wrong application type in my answer 
to question F-2. They even returned 
the check VOIDED. 

I've put on my nightly dress
thirteen times, trying to trick my body 
into tricking this 24/7 capitalist cycle 
into pausing. I refiled my application, 
this time ticking the right choice. 
I folded the clouds into paper planes, 
I waited for the rain to cum in my mouth,
I counted all the sheep in this nation.

Maybe I licked the wrong stamp,
maybe the postman is still at the trap 
house. Or maybe they don't speak
English in Nebraska.

Mona Kareem

First published in the Michigan Quarterly Review