• Asia Khatun

SPOTLIGHT: Seven by Sadiyah Bashir

This week's spotlight feature is on Sadiyah Bashir's anthology: Seven.

Sadiyah is a freelance writer, poet and award-winning poet, whose work has been showcased by the likes of Al-Jazeera to UNICEF. Her first self-published book, Seven, explores trauma and triumph through the lens of black Muslim womanhood, dealing with issues such as racism, sexism and Islamophobia that Sadiyah faced growing up in America.

Seven contains poems that depict the different intersections of Sadiyah's life and the collection spans from poems her very first poems written at thirteen to those written at twenty-one. By finding a flow between her individual poems, she realised that they fit together to tell a story that would resonate with many. This generation of people of colour and Muslims are looking to create narratives for themselves and Seven relates through its narrative, driven by the lived experiences of a black Muslim woman who has dealt with systemic issues that are constructed to hold her back. Sadiyah writes to humanise all the socio-political and economic factors that put her in another statistic, passionately delivering poems that keep one grounded whilst shedding light on a personal reality.

When I asked Sadiyah which poem spoke to her the most in this moment in time, she told me that the poem, Bashir, stood out the most. Bashir, being her last name, comes from her grandfather and it solidifies her feeling of belonging and her legacy. The name means 'giver of good news' and her being a poet, intensifies this meaning and the feelings that come from it. From the painful horrors of police brutality to the nostalgic moments that encompass identity, Sadiyah Bashir's anthology is one to be listened to and treasured.

You can buy Seven on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Sadiyah-Bashir/dp/1983952729

Sadiyah Bashir interviewed by Asia Khatun