It’s been so long!

So many exciting things are on the horizon so a blog post to remind me of not only what’s been achieved so far but also what joys are lining up ahead, is definitely in order!

Where do I start? My collective Outside The Frame Arts ( if you’re not doing so already, follow us on Twitter @artsOTF or join us on Facebook or Instagram ) has been busy at the The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre in Chorlton, creating a theatre piece centred around Muslim women’s relationship with the cloth.

It’s been a real pleasure meeting women from all walks of life such as spoken word artist, Amerah Saleh, photojournalist and political cartoonist Sabiheh Awanzai and writer and researcher Sumaya Kassim to name a few. Hearing their stories and exploring the richness that the intersects of our identity(ies) bring to these conversations found us navigating a much more nuanced dialogue far removed from the assumption that Muslim women are a monolith.

If you’re curious as to what we’ve been creating, we’d love to see you at the Oldham Live@the library, Open Space Festival on the 25th July 2018 where a scratch performance will take place. Tickets to be released soon.

We have also been regularly making our way to hilly Haslingdon joining the lively APNA women exploring home, partition, belonging and what it means to rebuild our sense of selves when the trauma of losing all we know, impacts us. We have had the pleasure of hearing new writing as we’ve shared poetry and plays centred around the 1947 partition of India and the 1948 Nakba of Palestine.

Between performing for Manchester Literature Festival supporting the formidable Black American poet Danez Smith, watching Black Men Walking written by the rapper Testament, AKA Andy Brooks, and also catching the Moonwatcher written by Shamshad Khan and Bob Firth at The Royal Exchange, sharing poems at For Books Sakes spoken word night, judging Cheadles Got Talent’s open mic category, winning tickets to Southbank WOW Festival to hear author of Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Rene Eddo-Lodge in conversation with the fabulous ( I’m a huge fan! ) Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie AND catching the lovely Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay with the inspiring #BlackLivesMatter founder and author of When They Call You A Terrorist, Patrisse Kahn-CullorsI have also been burrowing away at my writer’s desk working on a manuscript. Yes I have honestly!

It’s my debut poetry collection, The Celox And The Clot, due to be released in October 2018 by Burning Eye Books!

I would love to see you at the launch at HOME Theatre, in Manchester, where I will be sharing some poetry and you can get yourself a copy too on the day. I’ll be sharing details nearer the time so do watch this space.

Till then, Happy World Poetry Day!

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