Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Summer is a Palestinian-American poet, playwright, and proud "social justice warrior." Summer is joining the CWE MFA after four years of welcoming Congolese and other refugees to her hometown and gaining proficiency in Swahili along the way.
Summer got her poetry roots in Knoxville's spoken word poetry scene and believes strongly that poetry is meant to be read aloud and shared in community against a backdrop of snapping fingers. Summer turned her penchant for the spoken word into a monologue-driven play, WALLS: A Play for Palestine, that premiered at the Clarence Brown LAB Theatre at the University of Tennessee in 2016. The play was produced at The New York International Fringe Festival the same year.
Summer continues to write about Palestinian struggle and resistance while also giving voice to her Appalachian and Southern roots. Summer is excited about the environmental component of the CWE program which will allow her to explore issues of place, diaspora, and migration more deeply. Summer is moving to Ames with her cat, Sappho, who is a force in her own right.