Join us for the next few weeks as we feature contributors to New Moons, an anthology edited by Kazim Ali celebrating Muslim authors, releasing on November 16!
Every Tuesday and Thursday we will introduce five new authors featured in the anthology to get to know before New Moons is released!
Scroll down to read more and pre-order your copy of New Moons here!
Deema Shehabi is the author of Thirteen Departures from the Moon and co-editor with Beau Beausoleil of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, for which she received the Northern California Book Award’s NCBR Recognition Award. She is also co-author of Diaspo/Renga with Marilyn Hacker and the winner of the Nazim Hikmet poetry competition in 2018. Deema’s work has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Literary Imagination, The Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Poetry London, and Crab Orchard, to name a few. Her work has been translated into French, Farsi, and Arabic, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times.
Hina Ahmed is from Binghamton, New York. She has a BA in history and an MA in teaching from Binghamton University. Her published work has appeared in Archer Magazine, NYU’s Aftab Literary Magazine, Turkish Literature and Art, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Eastlit Journal, and FemAsia Magazine, among others. She was also a short story finalist in the Adelaide Literary Competition of 2018. In addition to writing short stories, poetry, and essays, her novel, The Dance of the Firefly is forthcoming.
Zara Chowdhary has an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. She has served as Visual Arts Editor for the literary journal Flyway. She has also worked as a screenwriter in Mumbai and produced for films and advertising for ten years. She enjoys working at the intersection of environmental and political equity through her fiction, nonfiction, and occasional dabbling in poetry.
Faisal Mohyuddin is the author of The Displaced Children of Displaced Children (Eyewear Publishing, 2018) and the chapbook The Riddle of Longing (Backbone Press, 2017). He teaches English at Highland Park High School in suburban Chicago and creative writing at Northwestern University, and he serves as a master practitioner for the global not-for-profit Narrative 4. Also a visual artist, he lives in Oak Park, Illinois.
Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Deluge (Copper Canyon Press) and the chapbooks Ebb and Tunsiya/Amrikiya. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her work appears in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.
Ruth Awad is a Lebanese American poet, a 2021 NEA Poetry Fellow, and the author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Alongside Rachel Mennies, she is the coeditor of The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2020). She is the recipient of a 2020 and 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and she won the 2013 and 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest. Her work appears in Poetry, Poem-a-Day, The Believer, The New Republic, and elsewhere.
Anisa Rahim is a writer and public interest lawyer. Her poetry has appeared in BlazeVOX, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Red Eft Review, OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters (O:JA&L), The Newest Americans: Stories from the Global City, Common Ground Review, Kissing Dynamite’s anthology PUNK, and elsewhere. Her hybrid memoir, “American Meo: A History of Remembering and Forgetting” was longlisted for the 2019 PANK Book Contest. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers–Newark. See more of her work at anisarahim.com.
Mariam Bazeed is a nonbinary Egyptian immigrant, writer, and performance artist living in a rent-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. An alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays, they have an MFA from Hunter College and are—sometimes hard, sometimes hardly—at work on a novel. To procrastinate from facing the blank page, Mariam curates a monthly(ish) world-music salon and open mic in Brooklyn and is a slow student of Arabic music.
Seema Yasmin is an Emmy Award–winning journalist, medical doctor, poet, professor, and author of three books, including Muslim Women Are Everything (HarperCollins). Yasmin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for breaking news reporting. Her poetry collection, For Filthy Women Who Worry About Disappointing God, was winner of the Diode Editions poetry chapbook contest. Yasmin is director of the Stanford Center for Health Communication and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tara Mesalik MacMahon is the author of Barefoot Up the Mountain, winner of the 2020 Open Country Press Chapbook Contest. Her poems appear in and/or have received honors from Nimrod International Journal, Rhino, Poet Lore, River Styx, Dogwood International Journal, Cold Mountain Review, and Duende, among other literary journals. Additionally, Tara and her brother Mark have coauthored a children’s chapter book, The Closet of Dreams, forthcoming in 2022 (Lanier Press). A graduate of Pomona College and Harvard Business School, Tara resides in the San Juan Islands with her husband, Paul, and their rescue dog Hector.
Barrak Alzaid (@barrakstar) is a writer, artist, and curator. His work in progress is Fabulous, a memoir relating his queer coming-of-age in Kuwait—a story of family fracture and reconciliation. He was a 2018 Lambda Literary Retreat fellow, and his work has been published in Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, NAILED, and the anthology The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human: Tales from Many Muslim Worlds (Penguin SEA). His poem “faaehggot” was awarded a first-place prize by Nasiona magazine in their inaugural micrononfiction and poetry competition. He is a founding member of the artist collective GCC.
Hazem Fahmy is a poet and critic from Cairo. His debut chapbook, Red//Jild//Prayer, won the 2017 Diode Editions Contest. A Kundiman Fellow, his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Apogee, AAWW, the Boston Review, and The Offing. He is an associate poetry editor for the Shade Journal.
Sarah Ghazal Ali is a Bay Area poet and Editor-in-Chief of Palette Poetry. She obtained her MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was a Juniper Fellow and MFA Fellow. Nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets, she has received scholarships from ISF, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and the Seventh Wave. Her poems appear in or are forthcoming from Pleiades, Waxwing, Tinderbox, and others. Find her at www.sarahgali.com, and on Twitter @caesarah_.
Bushra Rehman is author of the poetry collection Marianna’s Beauty Salon and Corona, a dark comedy about being Desi-American. She co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, one of Ms. Magazine’s “100 Best Non-fiction Books of All Time.” Rehman’s next novel, Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion, is forthcoming from Flatiron Books. She is creator of the community-based writing workshop Two Truths and a Lie: Writing Memoir and Autobiographical Fiction.
Hilal Isler’s writing has appeared in the Paris Review, Literary Hub, the Los Angeles Review of Books online, and elsewhere. She teaches college social justice.
Rabía van Hattum is grateful to be a Muslima living most of her life in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her greatest education has been learning to read the Qur’an, mingling with the human family in many lands of the world, and raising five extraordinary children. She especially thanks Allah every day for her husband, her greatest treasure.
Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani-American poet, singer, and translator of Urdu and Persian poetry. She is the author of What Is Not Beautiful (Glass Poetry Press 2018), and her book Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved (Tupelo Press 2020), is a winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and is a Poets House 2017 Emerging Poets Fellow.
Hayan Charara is the author of four poetry books—The Alchemist’s Diary, The Sadness of Others, Something Sinister, and These Trees, Those Leaves, This Flower, That Fruit—and a children’s book, The Three Lucys. He also edited Inclined to Speak, an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry, and with Fady Joudah edits the Etel Adnan Poetry Series. He teaches in the creative writing program and the Honors College at the University of Houston.
Seelai Karzai is a poet, community organizer, and chocolate enthusiast who hails from New York City. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. Seelai received a master’s degree in women, gender and sexuality studies, and religion from Harvard University, and a BA in English Literature and Classics from Hunter College in New York City. Her writing has appeared in the Fragmented Futures exhibit zine, Newtown Literary Journal, and DASH Literary Journal.
Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is a political activist, storyteller, poet, and artist based in Los Angeles. She creates at the intersection of counternarratives and culture-shifting as a South Asian American Muslim second-gen woman. She’s turned out over 500,000 Asian American voters, recorded her #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast at the White House, and makes #MuslimVDay cards annually. Her essays are published in the anthologies Pretty Bitches, Shades of Prejudice, Good Girls Marry Doctors, Love Inshallah, and numerous online publications.
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.
Hala Alyan is the author of the novel Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize, as well as four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her latest novel The Arsonists’ City was released by HMH earlier this year. Her work has been published by the New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets, LitHub, the New York Times Book Review, and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn, where she works as a clinical psychologist and teaches creative writing and graduate psychology at New York University.
Mandy Fessenden Brauer, an American child psychologist, visited Northern Pakistan with her children, discovering Islam and learning about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict there. That trip changed her life. Later she went to Gaza and afterwards to Egypt, where she taught at A.U.C. and Cairo University Medical School. She’s published many bibliotherapy books for children in Arabic and English. Currently, she’s writing stories for teens about Egypt. She and her husband spend much of their time in Egypt and Indonesia.
Alicia Razvi is a farmer, a baker, and a writer. She gratefully owns a sustainable microfarm in Wisconsin with her husband and three kids. She is living a dream life of growing, raising, producing, and advocating for local food. Alicia became the first Muslim chapter president of Farmers Union in 2016 and is active in the role still today. She is very new in her writing journey with just one other publication to date.
Fatima van Hattum is from New Mexico, is Muslim, eats most things with chile, and has a large wonderful family and confusing background. She often writes because she is uncomfortable. She is a PhD student in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies and works at NewMexicoWomen.Org. Her work has been published in CALYX Journal, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Intersections, Chicana/Latina Studies, openDemocracy, and Poetry of the People, the zine of Alas de Agua art collective.
Omar Sarwar was born in New York City. He has trekked to Mt. Everest’s base, sung with the Singapore Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and spent his early childhood in the heart of Tokyo. Omar has written for publications like HuffPost and The Advocate on religion and sexuality. When not writing, he enjoys bhangra, metaphysics, and giving people dating advice he never follows. The enclosed story is derived from his experiences as a young boy living in Japan as a Pakistani expatriate.
Samina Najmi teaches multiethnic US literature at California State University, Fresno. A Hedgebrook alumna, her creative nonfiction has appeared in World Literature Today, The Massachusetts Review, The Rumpus, and other journals. Her essay “Abdul” won Map Literary’s 2012 nonfiction prize. Daughter of multigenerational migrations, Samina grew up in Pakistan and England. She believes in everyone’s three feet of influence and the power of literature to extend our reach beyond it.
Haroon Moghul is a Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He’s been published widely, including by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and Foreign Policy, and contributed original content to NPR’s Fresh Air. In 2016, he was honored with the Religion News Writer’s Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence. Haroon is the author of three books, including How to be a Muslim: An American Story, which the Washington Post called “an extraordinary gift,” and “an authentic portrayal of a vastly misunderstood community.” Previously, he was a Fellow at Fordham Law School’s Center on National Security and with the National Security Studies Program at New America Foundation. Haroon is a member of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Engagement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He played a critical role in the development of the Islamic Center at New York University and continues to advise Muslim community institutions and organizations. He graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. He once designed and led heritage tours of Spain, Turkey, and Bosnia, which was some of the coolest work he’s ever done. His next book brings together theology, autobiography, and a little bit of comedy to introduce Islam to a mainstream audience.
Noor Hindi (she/her) is a Palestinian-American poet and reporter. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Hobart, and Jubilat. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Literary Hub, and Adroit Journal. Her debut collection of poems, Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. is forthcoming from Haymarket Books (2023). Visit her website at noorhindi.com.
Shamima Khan published her first poem at age seven. She is a recipient of the City of Ottawa Youth poetry award and a finalist for the CBC poetry contest. She has most recently been published in the anthology Muslim American Writers at Home (Freedom Voices Press, 2021). Shamima has been invited to perform her poetry at conferences, embassies, protests, arts events and peace marches across Canada. Shamima is currently at work on a chapbook of her creative nonfiction while leading an Inclusive Design team to create human-centered products and technology.
Tariq Luthun is a data consultant, community organizer, and Emmy Award–winning poet from Detroit, MI. The son of Palestinian Muslim immigrants from Gaza, he earned his MFA in Poetry from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and currently serves as Board Member and Development Coordinator of the Micro Department at The Offing Literary Magazine. Luthun’s work has earned him such honors as being named Best of the Net, in addition to fellowships with Kundiman, the Watering Hole, and Kresge Arts in Detroit. His work has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Lit Hub, Mizna, Winter Tangerine Review, and Button Poetry, among others. His first collection of poetry, How the Water Holds Me, was awarded Editors’ Selection by Bull City Press in 2019, and is available now.
Zohra Saed is a Brooklyn-based Afghan American poet. She is the co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press), editor of Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos, and Notebooks from Turkestan (Lost & Found, The CUNY Poetics Documents Initiative); and Woman. Hand/Pen. (Belladonna Chaplet). Her essays on the Central Asian diaspora have appeared in Eating Asian America (NYU Press) and The Asian American Literary Review. She co-founded UpSet Press, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit indie press, with poet Robert Booras. “Aqua Net Days” was an Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train Very Short Story Contest (Summer 2018).
Mahin Ibrahim is a writer. Her writing has appeared in the anthology Fury: Women’s Lived Experiences in the Trump Era, Muslim Writers at Home, and Halal If You Hear Me, as well as in Narratively and Amaliah. She started her career in tech. She has a fondness for hiking trails and seahorses. Connect with her @mahinsays on Twitter or at mahinibrahim.com.
Yahya Frederickson’s poetry collections include In a Homeland Not Far: New & Selected Poems (Press 53 2017), The Gold Shop of Ba-‘Ali (Lost Horse Press 2014), and four chapbooks, most recently The Birds of al-Merjeh Square: Poems from Syria (Finishing Line Press 2014). A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Yemen and Fulbright Scholar in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Kyrgyzstan, he is a professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Umar Hanif is an undergraduate student in St. Louis pursuing a major in creative writing. Umar’s parents immigrated from Java, Indonesia, and raised their family Sunni Muslim. Umar’s recent fiction work can be found in Spires Arts & Literary Journal and Colour Mag. Find Umar on Twitter at @umarrhanis.
Noor Ibn Najam is a poet who teases, challenges, breaks, and creates language. She’s a Fellow of Callaloo, The Watering Hole, and The Vermont Studio Center with poems published by the Academy of American Poets, The Rumpus, and others. Her chapbook, Praise to Lesser Gods of Love, was published by Glass poetry press in 2019 and contemplates the ever-shifting role of love in the human experience and how best to worship such a multitudinous deity.
Samina Hadi-Tabassum is an associate professor at Erikson Institute in Chicago. Her first book of poems, Muslim Melancholia (2017), was published by Red Mountain Press. She has published poems in Eastlit Journal, Soul-Lit, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Papercuts, Indian Review, Classical Poets, Mosaic,
Main Street Rag, Tin House, and riksha. This is her first published short story.
Hana Qwfan is a Muslim Yemeni American writer. She has her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and English Literature from CSUB. Hana formerly worked as a nonfiction editor for Synaesthesia Magazine, as well as a writer for UC Berkeley’s threads, a magazine run by and for Muslim college students. You can find her previous work at threadsatcal.org, or see her Twitter @itsaplatesworld. Her writing is usually inspired by her religion and by her father, Ali.
Nashwa Lina Khan is an interdisciplinary community-based facilitator, instructor, and researcher. She holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University. Her graduate work uses decolonial methodologies to make sense of the impacts of family law on sex workers, HIV-positive women, Refugee women, and unwed mothers in Morocco accessing healthcare services. She is currently working on a small chapbook of poems she never thought she would share. You can find her tweeting @nashwakay.
Sham-e-Ali Nayeem is the author of City of Pearls (UpSet Press, 2019). Raised in both the UK and the US, she is a Hyderabadi poet, interdisciplinary artist and recovering social justice lawyer. A graduate of Oberlin College, her poetry has appeared in anthologies, including Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out (Olive Branch Press, 2005), Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak (Beacon Press, 2005) and Shout Out: Women of Color Respond to Violence (Seal Press, 2008). Sham-e-Ali is the recipient of the 2016 Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship.
Duaa Randhawa was born and raised in Queens, New York. Her writing is a combination of creative nonfiction and prose-poetry, which meets at the juncture of experience, identity, and community. This poem is part of a larger collection titled Bouts. Bouts is an exploration of self, identity, and history and all the nuances and confusions that come along with such an exploration.
Farah Ghafoor’s poems are forthcoming or published in Room, Ninth Letter, Big Lucks, Halal if You Hear Me (Haymarket Books 2019), and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for Best New Poets and Best of the Net. She is the editor-in-chief of Sugar Rascals magazine and attends the University of Toronto.
Lamya H is a queer Muslim writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared in the LA Review of Books, VICE, Salon, Vox, and others. She was a Lambda Literary Fellow in 2015 and a Queer Arts Mentorship Fellow in 2017. Find her on Twitter: @lamyaisangry.
Aatif Rashid is the author of the novel Portrait of Sebastian Khan. He’s published stories in The Massachusetts Review, Arcturus, Barrelhouse, and Triangle House, and nonfiction in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Lit Hub, and other places. He currently writes regularly for The Kenyon Review blog.
Threa Almontaser is the author of the poetry collection, The Wild Fox of Yemen (Graywolf Press), selected by Harryette Mullen for the 2020 Walt Whitman Award from The Academy of American Poets. She is the recipient of awards from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright program, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA and TESOL certification from North Carolina State University.