January 16, 2019

Congratulations to faculty member Mbarek Sryfi for taking first place in The Moonstone Arts Center's Annual Chapbook Contest! 

On Sryfi's collection of poetry, The Trace of a Smile, Margaret Randall said, "In this collection, Mbarek Sryfi returns the reader to the human register. These times evoke a loud response from poets and others, an urge to deal with weighty "end-time" questions and dangers. Too often the result is great emotion in a poetry that is too temporal or obvious to lift off the page. In contrast, Sryfi, brings us back down to daily observation: an old man leaning against a tree stump, a tall red house, a small girl in blue PJs, and the “sounds of bullets, / bombs, / smell of / blood / Under the rubble.” These poems remind us of our human landscape, what is truly at stake. Sryfi's language appears deceptively simple as it captivates in its hidden complexity. Sometimes it takes someone from somewhere else to show us the subtleties of our world. This is a collection to read and reread, savoring the details that make up the larger picture."