My poem, Immigration, selected for publication at the IMA! @caitsmeissner #islamicmuseumaustralia

1209718_writingI’m thrilled to announce that my poem, Immigration, will be exhibited at the Islamic Museum of Australia from Oct 10th to Jan 10th 🙂 I’m even more excited that my youngest sister’s poem will also be exhibited 🙂 Go Aisyah!

My deepest thanks and gratitude goes to the talented Caits Meissner, who so lovingly nurtured my sister and me, along with our poems. Caits, you are my poetic personal trainer.

The IMA’s opening night function will be on Friday 10th October, at 7 pm. If you’re able to, please do head down and celebrate the beauty produced by various Australian Muslim artists. In a world splintering at the edges, it helps to be reminded of the constancy and presence of the Divine, threaded through our lives and artwork. There is still so much beauty in this world, living alongside the pain.

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Islamic Museum of Australia is open!

slamicm.public_html.images.IMANewsletter.imalogonsp-659I’m thrilled to share the exciting news that the IMA (Islamic Museum of Australia) has opened its doors to the public! May this be the beginning of many, many years of inspiring artwork which builds bridges between communities.

Please click here to read the IMA Opening Press Release.

For those of you lucky enough to be living close to the IMA, the address is 15A Anderson Road, Thornbury, Victoria 3071. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 10am – 4pm and Friday from 10am – 9pm. For the rest of us, let’s plan to book a flight and drop in 🙂

 

 

My poetry’s been accepted for publication by the AMA (Australian Muslim Artists)!

1209718_writingAlhamdulilah, the three poems which I submitted to the Australian Muslim Artists Competition 2013 have been selected for publication!

I remember carefully looking through my archive of poetry, some finished, some unfinished. I wanted to submit poems which resonated with me, and with the themes most relevant to Australian Muslims. The poems I chose to submit (Bone Marrow, Cannibals and Utopia) had to do with themes of immigration, displacement, small community politics, and refugees. Very Aussie Muslim.

Here’s part of the email which I received last night:

We are pleased to announce that you will be one of the artists featured in the AMA publication.

This publication will be the first dedicated art book featuring Australian Muslim Artists and we are looking forward to sharing this diversity and talent.

I’m thrilled and grateful to be part of this amazing venture. Art and literature builds bridges between souls and communities, and the Islamic Museum of Australia will be an invaluable contribution to the landscape of Australian art and literature. To think that I’m part of this is so exciting!

I’d like to thank my family and friends for their support, and for Allah Most High’s literal Divine Concern for me. I couldn’t have done this on my own. The life of a poet and writer is fraught with rejection, so a strong support network makes all the difference.

I have a special thank you for Maryam Chahine, my good friend in Jordan and an amazingly talented poet. Jazakillah khayr, Maryam, for believing in me before I did 🙂 You gotta read her poetry. In the words of 21st century slang – she’s totes legit. Her poem Aren’t You Hot In That Thing? is one my absolute favourites. Enjoy!

On Poetry

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It’s been a busy week! I’m in the middle of uploading my entry for the Australian Muslim Artists competition, organised by the IMA (Islamic Museum of Australia). I’ve chosen to upload three of my best poems – Bone Marrow, Cannibals and Utopia – and I’m looking forward to the feedback.

Speaking of poetry, hop on over to my buddy Maryam Chahine’s blog! Maryam is a published poet, and I love the way she carefully constructs her poetry. A joy to behold. Maryam and her family are very dear to me, and getting to know them was definitely one of the highlights of my stay in Jordan. Maryam and her sister Noora really helped encourage me to complete and refine my book, Finding Jamilah. Close friends in Sydney who kept in touch with me also supported me through my writing – Fatima and Lisa, I’m looking at you!
Their support goes to show that writing is something not done in complete isolation. Sure, the act of writing does take place in solitude, but refining it and being encouraged to complete one’s work takes a lot of support. Behind every writer is a special group of friends and family. Thank you to each and every one of you!