is considered one of the best young poets writing in Arabic today. She is the author of four books of poems in Arabic Ittisafat (Characterizations) 1990; Mamarr Mu'tim Yasluh li Ta'allum al-Raqs (A Dark Alley Suitable for Dance Lessons), 1995; al-Mashy Atwal Waqt Mumkin (Walking As Long As Possible), 1997; Jughrafia Badila (Alternative Geography), 2006. She was born in 1966 in the northern Egyptian Delta. She has a bachelor's degree in Arabic literature from El-Mansurah University and a master's degree, also in Arabic, from Cairo University. Mersal worked as an editor for the cultural and literary reviews Bint al-Ard and Adab wa Naqd in Egypt for several years before leaving for North American in 1999. Volumes of her work have appeared in English, French, German, and Hebrew. Mersal is an assistant professor of Arabic at the University of Alberta in Canada. She lives in Edmonton with her husband and two children.