Trish Salah is an Arab Canadian writer, activist, cultural critic, and university professor. Her first volume of poetry, Wanting in Arabic, was published in 2002 by TSAR Publications and reissued in a new edition in 2013. Her second book, Lyric Sexology Vol. 1 was released by Roof Books in 2014. A new Canadian edition was released by Metonymy Press in 2017.
Salah was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is of Lebanese and Irish Canadian heritage. She studied creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and subsequently completed a Ph.D. in English Literature at York University in Toronto, Ontario. While a teaching assistant at York, Salah was politically active in the Canadian Union of Public Employees as the first transgender representative to their National Pink Triangle Committee. She currently teaches in Gender Studies at Queen's University. Her creative and scholarly work addresses transgender and transsexual politics and experience, diasporic Arab identity and culture, anti-racism, queer politics and economic and social justice. Her poetry moves between and combines traditional and experimental forms.
The 2013 edition of Wanting in Arabic won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction at the 26th Lambda Literary Awards in 2014. In 2018, she was named a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Canadian LGBTQ writers.
Lyric Sexology, Vol. I. New York: Roof Books, 2014. (Second edition: Montreal, Metonymy Press, 2017.)
Wanting In Arabic: Poems. Toronto: Tsar Publications, 2002. (Second edition: Toronto, Mawenzi House, 2013.)
TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. "Special Issue on Trans Cultural Production." Co-edited with Julian B. Carter and David J. Getsy. 1.4 (2014).
Canadian Review of American Studies. “Special Issue on Anne Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees.” Co-edited with Sara Matthews and Dina Georgis. 35.2 (2005).
“Reflections on Trans Organizing, Trade Unionism and Radical Communities.” Trans Activism in Canada: A Reader. Dan Irving and Rupert Raj, eds. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press, 2014: 149-167.
“From Fans to Activists: Popular Feminism enlists in ‘The War on Terror’.” Muslim Women, Transnational Feminism and the Ethics of Pedagogy: Contested Imaginaries in post-9/11 Cultural Practice. Lisa Taylor and Jasmin Zine, eds. Routledge, 2014: 152-71.
“Notes on the Subaltern.” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. “Inaugural Issue: Keywords for Trans* Studies.” 1.1-2 (2014): 297-305.
“Working for Change: Sex Workers in the Union Struggle.” with J. Clamen and K. Gillies. Selling Sex: Canadian Academics, Advocates and Sex Workers in Dialogue. Emily van der Meulen, Elya M. Durisin, and Victoria Love eds. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2013: 113-129.
“Notes Towards Thinking Transsexual Institutional Poetics.” Trans/acting Culture, Writing and Memory: Essays in Honour of Barbara Godard. Eva C. Karpinski, Jennifer Henderson, Ian Sowton, and Ray Ellenwood, eds. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press: 2013: 167-189.
“An-Identity Poetics and Feminist Artist-Run Centers/La poétique de l’anidentité et les centres d’artistes féministes autogérés.” Féminismes électriques. Leila Pourtavaf, ed. Montreal: Les Éditions du remue-ménage/ La Centrale Gallerie Powerhouse, 2012: 81-106.
“Backlash to the Future: Re/Inscribing Transsexuality as Fundamentalism.” Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 25 (Spring 2011): 212-222.
“In Search of Permiso: Trauma and Song in Rona Bloom’s Poetry.” InFluency Poetry Salon: Engaging Conversations with Contemporary Canadian Poetry 3 (Summer 2010). Web.
“In Lieu of a Transgender Poetics.” Contemporary Feminist Poetics in Canada. Ed. Kate Eichorn and Barbara Godard. Spec. Issue of Open Letter. 13.9 (Summer 2009): 34-6.
“After Cissexual Poetry.” Contemporary Queer Poetics. Ed. Julian Brolaski. Spec. Issue of Aufgabe: Journal of Poetry. 8 (Summer 2009): 282-298.
“Trans-fixed in Lesbian Paradise: Reflections on the Toronto Women’s Bathhouse.” Sexy Feminisms. Ed. Susannah Luhmann and Rachel Warburton. Spec. Issue of Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal. 31.2 (Autumn 2007): 24-29.
“Undoing Trans Studies: Review Essay on J. Butler’s Undoing Gender and V. Namaste’s Sex Change, Social Change.” Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.17 (Spring 2007): 150-5.
“What’s all the Yap? Reading Mirha-Soleil Ross’ Performance of Activist Pedagogy.” Spoken Word Performance. Ed. Theresa Cowan and Ric Knowles. Spec. Issue of Canadian Theatre Review. 130 (Spring 2007): 64-71.
“Introductory Notes—Memory Foretelling the Story.” with S. Matthews and D. Georgis. Ed. D. Georgis, S. Matthews and T. Salah. Canadian Review of American Studies. 35.2 (2005): 125-138.
“What Memory Wants: Broken Tongue, Stranger Fugue in Fall On Your Knees.” Ed. D. Georgis, S. Matthews & T. Salah. Canadian Review of American Studies. 35.2 (2005): 231-249.
- Dan Irving, "Dan Irving poses four crucial questions to three of Canada's most politically engaged trans activists: Jamie Lee Hamilton, Rupert Raj, and Trish Salah.", Canadian Dimension, July-Aug. 2009. p.32.
- R. M. Vaughan, "Trans Canadian: Get lost on the highway of love" Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine, Xtra!, December 12, 2002.
- "Lambda Awards honor best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books". Washington Post, June 2, 2014.
- "Ben Ladouceur, Trish Salah, and Joshua Whitehead named Dayne Ogilvie Prize finalists". Quill & Quire, May 17, 2018.