Susan Muaddi Darraj
Susan Muaddi Darraj’s short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named the winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, judged by Jaime Manrique. It also won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award. Her previous short story collection, The Inheritance of Exile, was published in 2007 by the University of Notre Dame Press.
In 2018, she was named a Ford Fellow by USA Artists. Susan also is a two-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. She has also been awarded a Ruby’s Artist Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation.
In 2019, she launched the viral #TweetYourThobe social media campaign to promote Palestinian culture. Later that year, she was named winner of the Rose Nader Award, by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), an award given by the Nader family to a person who “demonstrates an unwavering dedication and commitment to values of equality and justice.”
In January 2020, Capstone Books launched her debut children’s chapter book series, Farah Rocks, about a smart, brave Palestinian American girl named Farah Hajjar.
She edited Scheherazade’s Legacy: Arab and Arab American Women on Writing, which was published in 2004 by Praeger Publishers. With Waïl Hassan, she co-edited a volume for the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature Series on Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz. She has also contributed book chapters to several anthologies and collections, including Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction and Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. Her other books include young adult biographies of Indira Gandhi, Amy Tan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others, for Chelsea House Publishers.
Susan is an editor at Barrelhouse Magazine and former editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Review. Her fiction has appeared in New York Stories, The Orchid Literary Review, Mizna, Sukoon, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Banipal, and elsewhere. Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Little Patuxent Review, The Baltimore City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Al-Jadid, Baltimore Magazine, Pages Magazine, Sojourner, Calyx, Urbanite, and other forums.
A co-founder (along with the editors of The Potomac Review and Barrelhouse) of the annual conference, Conversations & Connections: Practical Advice on Getting Published, Susan speaks often at conferences on topics ranging from Arab-American literature to creative writing to pedagogy. A participating author with the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, Susan has also served as a member of the selection committee for the One Maryland One Book (OMOB) program of the Maryland Humanities Council, and she frequently serves as a judge for writing contests and as a panelist on state and national grant programs in the creative arts. In 2019, she became a participant in the #KidsNeedMentors initiative, pairing her with local schools as a visiting author.