Iman Mersal was born in 1966 in Mansourah, Egypt. She began publishing poetry at the age of sixteen and has since published four collections: Ittisafat (Characterizations) in 1990, Mamarr Mu‘tim Yasluh li Ta‘allum al-Raqs (A Dark Passageway is Suitable for Learning to Dance) in 1995 and al-Mashy Atwal Waqt Mumkin (Walking As Long As Possible) in 1997. Her latest collection is Jiughrafia Badeela (Alternative Geography) (2006).
In 1998, she moved to Boston and from there to Edmonton, Canada where she teaches Arabic language and literature at the University of Alberta. These Are Not Oranges, My Love, a selection of her poetry translated into English by Khaled Mattawa, was published by Sheep Meadow Press, USA, in 2008.