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The Muslim Poetry Project

Applications are now closed. For further enquiries, please email: poetry@sweatshop.ws

Introduction

The Muslim Poetry Project is a two-part initiative curated and delivered by Muslim artists Sara M. Saleh and Zainab Syed. The aim of the project includes: (1) For 12 Muslim poets to (re)connect with their heritage of poetry through a 4-day poetry retreat in regional NSW and (2) to platform the work of Muslim poets through the first-ever print publication of a poetry anthology by, with and for Muslim artists in Australia.

The Muslim Poetry Anthology

Part 2 of the Muslim Poetry Project is the publication of a poetry anthology by, with and for Muslim poets. The anthology is the first of its kind in Australia and will be edited by Sara M. Saleh and Zainab Syed, along with commissioning editor Manal Younus. 

 

We are looking for poetry that is unsettling, evocative, beautiful and subtle. We want poetry that holds space for and celebrates the multiplicity of our identities as Muslim-identifying artists. There is no single way to be Muslim or to be a Muslim artist; we want work that is authentic to who you are.  

 

We aim to reframe, platform and represent our community and ensure that the literary canon in this country can expand to include works that are outside of a Euro-centric framework. 

 

Poets and writers of all levels are highly encouraged to submit their pieces.

Submission Guidelines

  • This anthology is open to self-identified Muslim poets of any and all backgrounds based anywhere across so-called Australia.

  • Please submit up to 2 poems, a maximum of 40 lines each (excluding title and stanza breaks).

  • Entries must not have been previously published, self-published, published on a website or social media.

  • Poetry must be the original work of the person submitting.

  • Poetry can be written in any poetic style and on any subject (meaning it doesn’t have to be specifically or exclusively about Islam, being Muslim, or performing Muslimness in any way).

  • Unfortunately, we are unable to offer personalised feedback on the poems submitted.

  • Successful applicants will receive an honorariam for their published work, which will be specified in a publishing agreement between contributors and Sweatshop during the development of the anthology.

  • Submit your poems via the form below. Please note that there is no application fee for submissions.

 

Important Dates

  • Deadline for submissions is 11:59pm AEST, Monday 3 June 2024.

  • Successful applicants will be notified on Monday 15 July 2024.

  • Editing will take place between August and November 2024.

  • The Muslim Poetry Anthology will be published and launched by Sweatshop in 2025. 

About the Editors

Zainab Syed is a Pakistani-Australian poet and producer whose practice sits at the intersection of social justice and creative expression. Her poetry has been featured in Australia and internationally.

Sara M. Saleh is the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt. She made history as the first Australian poet to win the 2021 Peter Porter and the 2020 Judith Wright poetry prizes. Sara's debut novel Songs for the Dead and the Living and poetry collection The Flirtation of Girls were both released in 2023. 

Manal Younus is a freelance storyteller from Eritrea, based on Kaurna Country. In 2015, she released her first book of poetry, titled Reap. Manal has gone on to perform around the country and the world, including at the Jaipur Literary Festival and Georgetown Literary Festival.

Acknowledgements

This initiative is funded by Create NSW and Creative Australia with support from Red Room Poetry and Arab Theatre Studio. Proudly presented by Sweatshop Literacy Movement.

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