After thirty years of teaching for universities, to strike out on my own as a teacher has been a challenging and sometimes terrifying experience. But the rewards are immense.
The poets who are seeking me out are beautiful to work with, and it seems that the poetry teaching wisdom I have to offer may have never been put to better use than to help such talented and dedicated people as Larissa Shmailo, Tamam Kahn, and Venus Jones realize their vital dreams and bring their gifts to the world.
Tamam Kahn’s brand-new book about the daughter of the prophet Mohammed is full of unique and powerful poems for many of which I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring her. I’ve seen Tamam’s tireless, courageous efforts on revision after revision (yes, repeated revision takes a lot of courage!) and her devotion to doing whatever it takes to make a poem work.
The result is a unique book that glows with compassion, faith, and insight into Islam and into life. As I wrote for the book jacket, “Each one of these gorgeously crafted, deeply researched, and authentically felt poems is a multifaceted gem. Their generosity will guarantee Kahn’s book a wide appeal.”
When I think of the impact this book will likely have and all the lives it will touch, I feel shivers down my spine. I am blessed!
Big hugs to you, Tamam, phenomenal woman and poet, on this happy occasion.
Enjoy every minute!!