Poetic Voices of the Muslim World explores an art form central to the lives of Muslims around the world. The exhibition highlights poetic traditions from four major language areas—Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu—and introduces poetry from Asia, Africa, and diaspora communities in the U.S. The exhibition also includes multi-media works by the late Samina Quraeshi, who was dedicated to creating greater cultural understanding of her native Pakistan, as well as artwork created by students of teachers who participated in our summer institute on understanding Muslim cultures through the arts.
For the reopening of the Poetic Voices of the Muslim World exhibit, City Lore’s Director of Poetry Programs Sahar Muradi will lead audiences on a unique tour of the exhibit, where the displayed poems come to life in dramatic performances by poets Sara Goudarzi, Suneela Mubayi, and Adeeba Talukder reading in the original Persian, Arabic, and Urdu.
This program is co-sponsored by City Lore, a non-profit whose mission is to foster New York City – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs.
Sara Goudarzi is a Brooklyn writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic News, The Christian Science Monitor, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, The Adirondack Review and Drunken Boat and featured in an upcoming poetry anthology. Sara is the author of several titles from Scholastic and recently completed her first novel.
Suneela Mubayi is a graduate student in Arabic Literature at NYU where she is completing a Phd in the area of the intersection of classical and modern Arabic poetry. She has translated poems and short stories between Arabic, English and Urdu which have been published in Banipal, Beirut39, Jadaliyya and elsewhere. She wishes to try to re-establish the position of Arabic as a vehicular language of the global South, the role it played for many centuries. She also hopes one day to be able to call herself a poet.
Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani American poet and translator. She translates Urdu and Persian poetry, and cannot help but bring elements from these worlds to her own work in English. Her chapbook, ‘What Is Not Beautiful,’ is forthcoming through Glass Poetry Press and her book “Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved” is a winner of the Kundiman Prize and is forthcoming through Tupelo Press. A Best of the Net finalist and a Pushcart nominee, Adeeba‘s work has appeared in Glass, Anomaly, Solstice, Washington Square Review, and PBS Frontline among other publications. Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and is a Poets House 2017 Emerging Poets Fellow. [Photo by Aldo Rafael Altamirano]