This timely collection allows us to hear firsthand the amazingly diverse voices of North American Muslim writers speaking for themselves. Stereotypes are overturned on every page. Shaped by an impressive interweaving of cultures, languages and ethnicities, these writers reflect on what it means to find home-especially when prejudices and distortions abound-and how powerful it can be to feel heard, recognized, welcomed. Through stories, essays and poems, they share their family lore, spiritual journeys, childhood dreams, and memories of homes they left. They offer prayers for our world. They show us how astonishingly vast and varied Muslim American identity and experiences really are-from Mi kmaq Muslims to Muslims whose ancestors came on the Mayflower; from Tunisian-Canadians to Puerto Ricans to Palestinians to Irish-American Muslims inspired to convert by reading Malcolm X, and more. In this chorus of unique voices, there is a unity-whether Muslim-born or a convert, immigrant or North-America-born, a seasoned elder or a budding young poet, each writer invites us to fall in love with their humanity.
Muslim American Writers at Home is a compelling compilation that sheds light on the lived experiences of Muslims from diverse backgrounds, living in Canada and the U.S. Works like this are especially important in our current times as it is critical that Muslim artists take ownership of their own stories and narratives.
– GAMA (Gathering All Muslim Artists)
These authentic, diverse and multidimensional voices lift “layers of ignorance” about Muslims and Islam as they take us beyond and beneath the mainstream, fake narrative. Interweavers of creativity and spirituality, these Muslim authors, whether born in, brought to, or fled to North America, take us to their “real” world of being “racialized, minoritized, and thus dehumanized,” via firsthand story-tellings of lived experiences, as we forge ahead toward understanding, faith, love, peace and justice, inshallah. An insightful, painful, impressive, hopeful read.
– Laila Hasib, Inked Resistance Islamic Publishing
At times heartbreaking and beautiful, and at times raw and unvarnished, this worthy anthology provides non-Muslim readers with the perfect antidote to the stereotypes that pervade popular media. This collection contains true gems.
– Graeme Truelove, author of Un-Canadian: Islamophobia in the True North
This anthology gives voice to diverse Americans and Canadians whose identities include being Muslim. These writings are moving, powerful, and a celebration of our common humanity. It is not a book to be read once and then stored on your library shelf. Rather, these stories should be shared and discussed with others so as to develop a greater understanding of the life experiences of North American Muslims.
– Alia Hogben, Former Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.
These powerful, poignant, personal stories about being a Muslim in North America make for a compelling and very readable collection – one that cries out for our attention.
– Linda McQuaig, Canadian journalist & author
About the Editors
Valerie Behiery is a Canadian artist, writer, and academic whose life has been devoted to the arts, both their making and study. Committed to bringing visibility to underrepresented artists and convinced of
the power of the arts to encourage positive social change, her writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals, reference works, art catalogues, and freelance publications like Visual Arts News, Tribe, Nafas, and esse. A global nomad, Valerie has taught at universities in Canada, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. She is currently finishing a post-master’s diploma in art therapy; having experienced the profound therapeutic effects of writing and artmaking, she seeks to help others do the same. When she has spare time, she enjoys walking, reading, and experiencing the lost art of peaceful farniente.
Kitty Costello is a San Francisco-based poet, writing workshop facilitator, editor, and a psychotherapist with a master’s degree in social psychology. She relishes writing as a tool for insight, healing, social justice and community building. She worked 30 years for the San Francisco Public Library, including 10 years driving the bookmobile
to underserved communities. Her poetry book, Upon Waking: New
and Selected Poems 1977-2017, was published in 2018. Poet friends who influenced her most include Beat Poet Diane di Prima, who taught her early on how to delve into the creative wellspring within, and Native Alaskan poet Mary TallMountain, with whom she shared the delights and transformative power of writing in community. Tai chi and chai tea are 2 favorite pastimes.
Hanan Hazime is a multidisciplinary artist, creative writer, community arts educator, and writing instructor living in Toronto.
She also identifies as a Lebanese-Canadian Muslim Feminist and Mad Pride Activist. Hanan’s writing has appeared in several publications including The Windsor Review, Generation Magazine, and Feckless
C*nt. Awards include the Alistair & Anita MacLeod Prize in Creative
Writing in 2011, and the Dr. Eugene McNamara Award for poetry in 2013. Her debut poetry chapbook Aorta was published by ZED Press in 2018. She’s currently working on her first novel thanks to an Ontario Arts Council grant. When not writing or creating art, Hanan enjoys reading fantasy novels, over-analyzing things, photo-blogging, dancing with faeries in the woods, and drinking copious amounts of tea. Instagram: @the.mad.muslimah. Website: HananHazime.com.