Jenny Sadre-Orafai

Jenny Sadre-Orafai (Poetry) | Atlanta, GA

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Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of five chapbooks, Paper, Cotton, Leather, and Malak. Her poetry has appeared in Cream City Review, Ninth Letter, The Cortland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Pinch, and other journals. Her prose has appeared in Los Angeles Review, The Rumpus, South Loop Review, Fourteen Hills, The Collagist, and other journals. She’s co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly and associate professor at Kennesaw State University.


Malak (Platypus Press, 2018). Poetry.
Paper, Cotton, Leather (Press 53, 2014). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

Jenny Sadre-Orafai’s Malak is a splendidly written book that considers where metaphysical themes and elliptical lyric intersect. At its core, this collection inquires about spiritual inheritance and relationships through the skillful deployment of images that wrap the reader in their clutch. Sadre-Orafai’s poems, rooted in memory, mourning and honor, are hauntingly surreal yet solidly material.
—Airea D. Matthews, author of simulacra

In Malak, Jenny Sadre-Orafai takes your hand and walks you through magnificent worlds, where futures appear in coffee grounds and become a ‘language of residue,’ into the habitats of snakes, foxes, and girls, and in which a dream can appear nine times. Familial cycles and cultural identities are rendered in enchanting images and lines. Sadre-Orafai makes the tales of bloodlines fresh and the wild earth new.
—Wendy C. Ortiz, author of Excavation: A Memoir and Bruja

Invoking talisman, totem, fortune, and spell, Jenny Sadre-Orafai’s Malak abides in the rich world of lineage and divination. Listening back to the potent augury of the poet’s grandmother and forward to the intuition of her daughter, these are poems that move in circular time enacting ‘how our whole gold life is happening.’ These poems make an elliptical music of nested selves and layered voices, of locks and keys and teeth in the dark, polishing to an ontological shine what we know and what can be retrieved from the future.
—Jennifer K. Sweeney, author of Little Spells

Malak creates a new language that helps us understand the metaphysical, the things we cannot see.
—Jennifer MacBain-Stephens, reviewed in Agape Editions

Its stories are told in the dark of night, but under the light of a full and generous moon.
—Sivan Butler-Rotholz, reviewed in As It Ought to Be

Malak makes clear that the divination available for the poet is one of imagination and evocation, a divination that offers not answers, but another kind of perception.
—José Angel Araguz, reviewed in The Friday Influence

Here, in the rendering of language and belief, Malak is resurrected, created anew, and made powerful.
—Anna Sandy, reviewed in Bone Bouquet, Issue 8.2

A slender, wholly transfixing collection…
—Paige Sullivan, reviewed in The Bind

[T]here’s so much in this book about the possibilities of language.
—Tim Lynch, taken from their interview with Jenny in Tell Tell Poetry

[A] dazzling and precious collection of personal poems, which reward the reader with deep-felt emotion and flights of fantasy.
—Lyn Greenwood, reviewed in Mslexia

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