I’ve never really done this, but seeing as I haven’t had the chance to fully promote and talk about the cool stuff that I’ve been writing and doing lately, I thought, why not? So this post will just be some pieces I’ve had published here and there the past couple of months. A wide mixture really; flash fiction, poetry, an article, readings. I did think to do a separate post for each of them, but that would have worked better as and when they happened. And simply because I’m also becoming more of a features person lately…
So, here are some shameless plugs:
I was delighted to be given the chance to take part in Wales Arts Review’s Flash Fiction Month in June – 31 days of 31 stories by 31 writers. It was an opportunity too good to miss. I’ve been a contributor to Wales Arts Review for nearly a year now through books reviews and interviews, and it has probably one of the best things I did as a newbie writer. I plan to continue to write for them in the future, but for now, you can read my story, ‘Hair’ on their website.
She is only just reaching for the shower gel when the water submerges her ankles and she notices them; black lines that stick to her skin. They are everywhere. Little leech-sized strands that crawl up the sides of the white tub and the white tiles. Some float in slowly accumulating water. The worst of it all is in the plug – a whole nest of them, banked, wriggling to escape from its mouth.
Sister-Hood Magazine: Why the Arts are Empowering
In June, I also wrote an article for Sister-Hood Magazine, about why studying the arts have been empowering to me as a South Asian female, and why studying them should not be undermined in South Asian cultures. Really glad I pitched them this idea and they accepted it. Sister-Hood is a digital magazine that seeks to promote and highlight the voices of women from Muslim heritages, and the work they are doing is excellent and much-needed in today’s society. Read my article here.
Yet in a culture where many women’s voices, opinions and experiences on things that matter are dismissed, knowledge IS power. Literature and the social sciences are subjects about life. They teach you how to navigate life, to understand the human psyche, to have opinions. I firmly believe that I would not have been as ‘enlightened’ were it not for my chosen subjects, or as passionate about defending myself and standing up to people regarding my life choices, especially when many people struggle to find something that they love and are good at all their lives.
Reading at Milieu Cardiff
In June, I also got to perform some of my published and unpublished poems that focus on the themes of language barriers, identity, feminism and relationships at Milieu Cardiff. A space opened up and I got the opportunity to perform alongside some of Wales’ finest writers, and received some excellent feedback afterwards (thank you!). Milieu is a free, quarterly night of literature, spoken word, art, photography and visual concepts, bringing together a collective of writers and artists. If you live in Cardiff or nearby, they have some events coming up. They have the hottest and the most buzzing vibe that I’ve ever seen at a literary event.
‘False Idols’ – Poem
In June/July, Severine Lit published one of those poems about identity and intersectional experiences, in their 4th and very first print issue! I keep saying this, but the cover is beautiful. Severine Lit are a UK-based journal and are very lovely people, may I add. They regularly open up their submission windows, so keep an eye out if you’re looking to submit. You can read this issue and their previous ones on their website, and click the image to read the poem!
‘Friday 9:17 am’ – Flash fiction
In July, Halo Literary Magazine published my flash fiction, which was about the passing away of my grandmother, in their very first issue online and in print! Halo are most definitely the magazine to keep an eye out for. I have a feeling they’re going to do incredibly well.
Sitting on the toilet later, Alya imagines how dead bodies look, how the waste inside them is flushed out after they die. When she brushes her teeth, staring at her face in the mirror, she pictures skulls and teeth besmirched in soil. She thumbs hollow eye sockets as the kettle boils. Tea is the colour of death, she thinks and she tastes death on her tongue. She makes tea for everyone, and carries it on a tray in plastic cups kept for emergencies.
Last but not least, at the end of July, I got to take part in Parthian Books’ Summer Reading event, which featured some of Wales’ best new and upcoming writers. Again, I read a few poems out, one of which can be read on Parthian’s blog about the event here. Cardiff’s writing scene is excellent, and I’m so blessed to be part of such a supportive and warm community right now!