Marwa Helal


Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. She is the author of Ante body (Nightboat Books, 2022), Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019), the chapbook I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No Dear, 2017) and a Belladonna chaplet (2021). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, New York Foundation of the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem, among others. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem and Brooklyn Museum.

Her work appears in Apogee; Hyperallergic; Boston Review; Poets&Writers; Winter Tangerine and elsewhere, including the following anthologies: Bettering American Poetry, Volumes Two and Three; Best American Experimental Writing 2018; Brooklyn Poets Anthology; Halal If You Hear Me; and BreakBeat Poets: Black Girl Magic. She has served as editor of The Poetry Project’s Newsletter and is on the advisory board of The Offing.

Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Billboard image by Robert Montgomery