An interesting conversation by 2 excellent poets on, among other things, the literary community’s new interest in Muslim writers:
Silence and Breath: Kaveh Akbar and Kazim Ali: The two poets talk about their literary family trees, poetry as a protective force, and the changing landscape for Muslim American writers. – Asian American Writers Workshop – 6/2/17
Kaveh Akbar: “…I feel like the demand for our voices has become so much higher in this way that has everything to do with our proximity to danger….We are now suddenly this group that is very visibly proximal to an imminent political and bodily danger at the hands of a state and at the hands of the people who are drinking the state’s Kool Aid. Suddenly there’s a lot more editorial interest in what Muslim writers are up to.”
Kazim Ali: “I think it’s important. I think we should step up and take advantage of whatever platform is given to us. But it doesn’t feel good.
“I think that the literary community is very fickle. I think they’re really interested in whatever the big thing is now and I do feel on the outside of all that, honestly. I’m saying that as somebody who is published in some of these bigger venues, by very respected journals and presses. But I don’t necessarily feel that that has ever translated into a truly inclusive interest in a broader aesthetic.”
Sigh. UWSP student asks court to force poetry professor to give her an A. – Sari Lesk – USA Network Today – Wisconsin – July 7, 2017. The 59 year old student says the teacher didn’t teach enough classics.
“The selected texts, Kikkert said in court records, focused on ‘lesbians, illicit sexual relationships, incest and frequent swearing.’ She asserts her complaints resulted in her earning an F in the course. Unable to persuade the university to raise her mark, Kikkert took Professor Patricia Dyjak to court, asking a judge to order her to assign Kikkert an A for the class.
“‘She has swung the pendulum far to the side of LGBT students and, in doing so, has chosen to totally discount the importance and the validity of the mainstream student population,’ Kikkert argued in her claim.”