If you had to describe your poetry in a sentence, what would you say?
I would say that my poetry is a platform through which I am able to give back to the voiceless by speaking against racism, oppression and prejudice. Also, as a first year student of Creative Writing at LJMU, I am currently developing my ideas and strengthening my writing. As a writer, we are normally critical of our own work and we are always wanting to improve. I am willing to learn about and experience the world around me, so that I am able to express this in an artistic form, so that those around me and after me will know of our world through poetry, and not only by biased mainstream news articles. People want honesty and poetry is the gateway to the truth.
What’s the latest material you’ve been working on – and what does it say about you?
My latest performing poetry is Interference, which was published last year. It was part of a short story I had written of a girl called Isra who flees her birth home, Syria. The final part of the short story finishes with a poetic monologue: as Isra is on a boat travelling through the sea at night amongst other families, she pleads for the world to listen to her words, which may be her last. This piece is inspired by politics and their agendas to create war; it reflects the true voice of a child who does not understand. Though this is about this young girl from Syria, this reflects my voice; I do not understand either and I am still trying to understand why we still read history books when all we do is recreate these situations over and over again.
Did you have any particular artists or poets in mind as an influence when you started out? What about them do you think you’ve taken into your own work?
I have always read English-translated Arabic poetry, I was inspired by the music poetry can create. I began to watch YouTube videos of spoken word artists in America, like Omar Suleiman’s Dead Man Walking. I was inspired how poetry on stage can be so powerful, you don’t even have to shout for people to listen, just speak from the heart, the truth. The power in Omar’s poetry gave me power to speak up too and I thank him for he gave me the courage to speak against injustice.
Amina performs at the My ID spoken word event at The Bluecoat on Monday 10th July as part of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.