Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-03-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS Inclusive anthology 'Halal' launches at Poetry Foundation
by Kelsey Hoff
2019-04-14

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The Poetry Foundation was packed the night of April 11 for the book launch of Halal If You Hear Me, a collection of poems and essays by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, non-binary or trans.

The book is the third installment of Haymarket Books' BreakBeat Poets anthology series of writings canonizing poetics in the age of hip-hop. Editors Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo spoke and read their work along with contributors Beyza Ozer, Jacinda Bullie and Edil Hassan.

Asghar and Elhillo read excerpts from each other's forewords—Elhillo reading from Asghar's "Finding the Hammam" and Asghar reading from Elhillo's "Good Muslim/Bad Muslim." Then representatives from an inclusive Islamic community center in the Loop, Masjid al-Rabia, shared their mission and spoke about some of their programs, including an LGBTQIA+ Muslim prison ministry, and facilitated a prayer.

"The poems and essays in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me are the Muslim community I didn't know I was allowed to dream of. This is the Muslim community my child-self could have blossomed in—proof of the fact that there are as many ways to be Muslim as there are Muslims," Elhillo states in her foreword. She added that it feels good to have this book as an object representing her community that is invisible but nonetheless exists, and she hopes it will help break down walls of compartmentalization on a community level.

"Let us create a poetics that [re-creates] the hammam, where we can come in our real, naked skin, sit in the water, and talk openly. Where all of us—the hijabis, the haraamis, the uncovered, the gender-nonconforming, the queer, the married, the never-married, the virgins, the non-virgins, the brown, the black, the white the yellow—can just be," states Asghar's foreword. According to her, writing poetry has helped her feel "seen." The hammam is a Turkish bath, and Asghar noted in an interview that it would make the perfect place to read Halal If You Hear Me.

When asked how many submissions they received for the anthology, Asghar replied, "Way too many." This may have been, in part, due to the number of first-time submitters who felt moved to send in their work because the call was so specific to their identities. It was also a first for both editors, neither of whom had ever edited a major anthology; however, they decided to pursue the idea they came up with together at a Poetry Foundation event in 2016.

The readings covered a wide range of topics, including bodies, borders, death, travel, families, violence, tattoos and more. Readers shared a bit about their identity and why they are compelled to write about it. Coming from Turkish, Choctaw, Appalachian, Sudanese, Somalian, Pakistani and Kashmiri backgrounds, they spoke about how their differences from other Muslims and U.S. residents—especially concerning gender and sexual orientation—affected their lives. Many of their poems expressed the beauty and pride they have found in these differences.

The readers adjourned to the Poetry Foundation Library afterward to meet with the audience and sign books. An after-party was held at The Hoxton with music by DJ Cashera, mehndi and tarot.

Because the book was launched during National Poetry Month, it will be available for half off until the end of April through Haymarket Books. A folio of selected poems from the anthology will appear in this month's issue of Poetry Magazine.

See www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1273-halal-if-you-hear-me .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SPLC releases 'Hate and Extremism' report 2020-03-23 - The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual "Year in Hate and Extremism" report, identifying 940 active hate groups across the United States ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Ian McKellen: A Biography 2020-03-17 - Author: Garry O'Connor. $29.99; St. Martin's Press; 356 pages Any old stick would do. When you were a child, that's what it ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart will be closed to the public until March 31 2020-03-16 - In support of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, Gerber/Hart will be closed to the public until March 31. Upcoming ...


Gay News

Women & Children First delaying, cancelling events 2020-03-13 - Because of coronavirus-related concerns, most of the March events at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., have been rescheduled for ...


Gay News

'The Boys in the Band' writer Crowley dead at 84 2020-03-08 - Mart Crowley—best known for writing the '60s seminal play The Boys in the Band, about a group of gay friends at a birthday ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW The Trans Generation 2020-03-08 - By Ann Travers $25; New York University Press; 261 pages Boy or girl? That's a common enough question, if you're an expectant ...


Gay News

Non-binary author Jacob Tobia holds reading in A'ville 2020-03-07 - To celebrate the paperback release of their debut book, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, non-binary author, actor and producer Jacob Tobia held a reading ...


Gay News

Women's History Month events planned at Chicago's Feminist Bookstore 2020-03-04 - CHICAGO, IL ( March 3, 2020 ) - Chicago's only feminist bookstore—one of only ten feminist bookstores left in the U.S.—is celebrating Women's ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Needing more than a moment: LGBTQ representation in children's media 2020-03-04 - The Academy Award-winning songwriters behind Disney's Frozen, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and husband Bobby Lopez, announced recently that they are working on Universal Pictures' movie ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Cartoonist's memorial, mayor dies, Idaho bill, panic defense, political news 2020-03-03 - A public celebration of the life and work of Howard Cruse, a pioneer in the LGBTQ cartooning movement, will be held in New ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.