When I Tell My Father I Might Begin to Pray Again
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Leila Chatti. From Tunsiya / Amrikiya. Bull City Press, 2018.
In in an interview with The Adroit Journal, Leila Chatti spoke directly about her experiences in the United States’ recent political climate: “2016 was a brutal, terrifying year to be Arab and Muslim in the United States. I wrote to process and to speak back. I hoped, of course, to educate and challenge, but I was mostly writing for myself and other Arabs and Muslims, so many of the poems in the chapbook are celebratory and domestic. It’s my life: where I came from, how I came to be the person I am, and a small glimpse of what life as someone like me might look like. I like to think that these poems may also push back against Islamophobia, though they are not explicitly political; hatred is often the failure to see a stranger as fully human, and in these poems I reveal my full self.”