Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thank You to The Monarch Review

Stephen Bartholomew - artist

One of my favorite valentines arrived this year in the shape of a poem accepted and posted at The Monarch Review --- a gorgeous print (and online) journal launched in Seattle just a couple of years ago.

My poem "What Hodan Tells Me" began almost a decade ago when I was working on the Somali Voices Project. I was a co-founder of the Somali Rights Network that one of my former students, Mohamud Esmail, had started with a friend.

In an effort to bring attention to the Somali community in the Seattle area, I decided to interview Somali people living in the area. I published the poems from this project in my book Cures Include Travel. Recently I found my notebooks from that time (never throw out old notebooks) and I found these quotes from Hodan about her United States Embassy interview in Kenya.


Everyone knows

for $80 you can become a Somali citizen

with a blue passport

a diplomat for not much more.

The American Embassy woman confides,

“You are going to suffer culture shock

but The Bold and Beautiful will help.”

To continue reading, check out The Monarch Review

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