Join us online to hear from #OwnVoices writers tackling what it’s like to be Muslim in America twenty years after 9/11 in poetry, memoir, and speculative fiction, from frustrated to struggling to hopeful to looking towards the future.
Featuring readings & discussion with authors from New Moons, a forthcoming anthology of writing by North American Muslims edited by Kazim Ali from Red Hen Press (pub. November 16th):
Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is a political strategist, storyteller, and artist based in Los Angeles. She creates at the intersection of counternarratives and culture-shifting as a South Asian American Muslim 2nd-gen woman. She’s turned out over 500,000 Asian American voters, recorded five years of the award winning #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast and makes #MuslimVDay cards annually. Her essays are published in the anthologies Pretty Bitches, Whiter, Good Girls Marry Doctors, Love Inshallah, and in numerous online publications. She has published two poetry collections Emdash and Ellipses (2016) & The Day The Moon Split in Two (2020), is featured in Tia Chucha’s Coiled Serpent (2016) and her poetry has been commissioned by the Center for Cultural Power, PolicyLink, the Garment Worker Center, KPCC’s Unheard LA, and more. In Spring 2019 she was UCLA’s Activist-in-Residence at the Institute on Inequality and Democracy, in Summer 2017 was Artist-in-Residence at Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art Culture & Design, and in 2016 received an award from President Obama’s White House as a Champion of Change in Art and Storytelling. A protest sign she designed for the 2017 Women’s March sits in the permanent archives of the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Ayeh Bandeh-Ahmadi‘s forthcoming memoir-in-stories, “Ayat,” was a finalist for the First Pages Prize and the Chautauqua Foundation’s Janus Prize, recognizing an emerging writer’s work for daring innovations that reorder literary conventions and readers’ imaginations. Her writing has appeared in Entropy Magazine’s Top 25, No Tokens and PANK and has been recognized with support from Millay Arts, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Creative Fellowship, and the Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship. She taught personal essay to Washington D.C. high school students for PEN/Faulkner.
Farah Ghafoor’s work is published in Cream City Review, Room, Ninth Letter, Hobart and elsewhere. Her poems have been recognized by the League of Canadian Poets, the Alliance for Young Writers and Artists, Hollins University, and Columbia College. Shortlisted for the 2021 Young Buck Poetry Prize and the 2020 Thomas Morton Prize, her work has been nominated for Best New Poets and Best of the Net. Born in New York, she was raised in New Brunswick and Ontario, and currently studies accounting at the University of Toronto.
Shadab Zeest Hashmi, a Pakistani-American poet and essayist, is the winner of the San Diego Book Award, Sable Books’ Hybrid Book Prize, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize, and has been nominated for the Pushcart multiple times. Her poetry collections include Kohl and Chalk and Baker of Tarifa. Her book Ghazal Cosmopolitan is a work of critical and craft essays, lyric essays, and original ghazals and qasidas. Her latest book Comb is a hybrid memoir about childhood in Peshawar— the Pakistani city along the border with Afghanistan— during the time of the Soviet war. Zeest Hashmi’s poetry has been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Bosnian and Urdu, and has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals worldwide, most recently in McSweeney’s In the Shape of a Human Body I am Visiting the Earth. She has taught in the MFA program at San Diego State University as a writer-in-residence.
Mohja Kahf is a professor of comparative literature and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Arkansas since 1995, Mohja Kahf is the author of E-mails from Scheherazad, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, and Hagar Poems. She is the winner of the Press 53 Award for Poetry for her 2020 book My Lover Feeds Me Grapefruit.
Tariq Luthun is a data consultant, community organizer, and poet from Detroit, MI. The son of Palestinian immigrants, he earned his MFA in Poetry from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and currently serves as Editor of the Micro Department at The Offing. Luthun’s writing has earned him an Emmy Award and the honor of Best of the Net. His work has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Lit Hub, Mizna, Winter Tangerine Review, and Button Poetry, among others.