Fifteen artists have been nominated for a 2015 Stranger Genius Award, including three in the literature category. According to award organizers, “The Stranger believes fine art does a bad job of standing up for itself in popular culture, and the Genius Awards are our way of doing something about it. They’re also an excuse to spend this entire issue heaping praise onto the artists we believe are doing the most fascinating work in Seattle right now.”
Past literary winners have included Egyptian-Seattlite poet Maged Zaher (2013). This year, Egyptian-Seattlite playwright Yussef El Guindi is one of the literature nominees.
El Guindi’s “genius” profile particularly celebrates his Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, which had its world premiere in Seattle. It went on to win a Steinberg/ATCA award, which El Guindi told The Seattle Times was “like being handed a bottle of water in a marathon run.”
El Guindi left Egypt when he was 3 years old. But he said in a 2012 interview that “Egypt will remain a part of me — a large part of me — whether I like it or not. And generally speaking, I like it.”
El Guindi’s latest play, Threesome, which “seriously examines gender and cultural issues in the U.S. and Middle East, and an Egyptian-American woman writer’s struggle to recover her sexual autonomy” is running at A Contemporary Theatre June 5–28.
More on ‘Threesome’:
The Seattle Times: ‘Threesome’ fearlessly explores culture and sexuality