Muzaffar Al-Nawab is a celebrated Iraqi poet. He was born in 1934 to a wealthy family in Baghdad. After studying literature and becoming a teacher, he began to associate with the Communist movement in Iraq. For this he was imprisoned and tortured by the oppressive Hashemite regime; however, following, the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958, Al-Nawab was offered a position at the Iraqi Ministry of Education. As political tensions continued between nationalists and communists, Al-Nawab was forced to flee Iraq because of his communist allegiances in 1963. He was arrested again, this time for writing poetry critical of the Iraqi Republic. He was able to escape prison and continued writing dissident poetry.
Despite, or perhaps because of his political troubles, Al-Nawab's reputation grew steadily in the 1960s. His work spread across the Arab world and was as inspiration to those standing against political regimes. As he writes in "v-Letter-Word," his work was seen as a rallying call to all those that wished to "speak out frankly of your reality." Further expanding his notoriety, many musicians set music to Al-Nawab's work. After his exile from Iraq he continued to move around Arab countries, including Egypt and Lebanon. Due to the controversial nature of his work, it was not published officially until 1996, however much of has become available on the internet. Still, it is incredibly difficult to find in printed form and many bootlegged copies circulate, though an official poetry collection was again released in 2010. Al-Nawab returned to Iraq in 2011 where he has been reportedly suffering from Alzheimer's.