Paper Press Books at Beast Crawl Literary Festival 2024

Once again, Paper Press is proud to present an event at Beast Crawl Literary Festival.

Paper Press Books & Associates Publishing Company works hand-in-hand with the author to build and distribute beautiful one-of-a-kind designer books; a comfort to the eye, easy to read, professionally typeset, and a royalties scale that benefits the writer and the company. We are a culturally diverse publisher.

Our Facebook event page.


MARHABA means Welcome.
As a North African owned and operated press, Paper Press Books is proud to welcome you to a presentation of voices from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This marks the first such reading at Beast Crawl Literary Festival.

Colonial legacies continue to cast long shadows, shaping narratives that neglect the richness and complexity of our culture and literary heritage.

We are excited to showcase the talent and diversity of MENA writers. Join us for an evening of discovery and celebrate the power of these voices.

Justin Ebrahemi (he/they) is a Persian American arts writer, dance marketer, and poet based in San Francisco. His personal writing explores the queer Iranian American diaspora, political uprising, gender expression and mental health. He recently published his second collection of poetry entitled "Birdsong From Nowruz," while his journalistic work has been published in KQED, Content Magazine, and SFMOMA’s Open Space platform. Justin was previously the Director of Communications & Advancement at CounterPulse and the Digital Engagement Arts Manager at KQED Arts, where he engaged creative communities in digital and in-person arts experiences and authored dance reviews. Recently, Justin has committed his work to advocate for Palestinian liberation among the Bay Area arts community.

Sabina Khan-Ibarra is a writer, poet, and teacher currently focused on completing her chapbook, "New Vocabulary," and her novel, "The Poppy Flower." Her work has been featured in various journals and anthologies, including "Non-White" and "Women, Taboos and Transgressions." She’s is a member of the Writers Grotto and is currently the Director for Rooted and Written, the only tuition free writers conference for writers of color. She served as Communications Director at MuslimARC (Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative) for ten years and continues to be involved as a member. Sabina has taught Creative Writing at SFSU and is now teaching at the Grotto. She resides in Half Moon Bay, California, with her husband, two children, and two cats, Twyla and Aslan.

Mahnaz Badihian is an Iranian/American Poet, painter, and translator whose work has been published in several languages and in literary magazines worldwide. Mahnaz runs the Literary magazine to bring the poetry of the world together. She is a member of the San Francisco RPB (Revolutionary Poet Brigade). In 2018, Mahnaz had a three day art exhibition in San Francisco. Currently She is working on her novel A Girl from Pomegranate Garden. Ask sThe Wind is collection of charming, heartwarming, and sometimes even heartbreaking poems. In them, she paints pictures of war, death, poverty, identity, immigration, belonging, and love. Mahnaz is a nominee for San Francisco Poet Laureate 2024.

Antony Fangary is a writer and visual artist living in San Francisco. He was awarded the 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and is the author of HARAM (Etched Press 2019). His poetry has recently appeared in Gulf Coast, The Sycamore Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. His work has received support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Center for Cultural Innovation.

Jess Semaan is a queer Lebanese poet, psychotherapist, group facilitator and speaker. She researches, writes and speaks on subjects of healing from complex trauma, immigration, war and belonging.  Her first poetry book Child of the Moon was published by Andrews McMeel and sold over 14,000 copies. Her second book Your Therapist is Depressed Too came out in December 2023. The book chronicles the life of a new psychotherapist during the pandemic, who is witnessing the collapse of her home country from afar.
Jess currently facilitates student groups at both UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and her own. She has extensive experience and training in interpersonal group facilitation, healing circles as well as learning and support groups. She is also a trauma informed trained psychotherapist, and recently completed her trainings in psychedelic assisted therapy.