Biography of Suheir Hammad
Suheir Hammad (born October 25, 1973) is an American poet, author and political activist. She was born in Amman, Jordan. Her parents were Palestinian refugees who immigrated along with their daughter to Brooklyn, New York City when she was five years old. Her parents later moved to Staten Island.
As an adolescent growing up in Brooklyn, Hammad was heavily influenced by Brooklyn's vibrant hip-hop scene. She had also absorbed the stories her parents and grandparents had told her of life in their hometown of Lydda, before the 1948 Palestinian exodus, and of the suffering they endured afterward, first in the Gaza Strip and then in Jordan. From these disparate influences Hammad was able to weave into her work a common narrative of dispossession, not only in her capacity as an immigrant, a Palestinian and a Muslim, but as a woman struggling against society's inherent sexism and as a poet in her own right. When hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons came across her piece entitled 'First Writing Since,' a poem describing her reaction to the September 11 attacks, he signed her to a deal with HBO's Def Poetry Jam. She recited original works on tour for the following two years. In 2008, she was cast in her first fiction role in cinema, the Palestinian film Salt of this Sea by Annemarie Jacir, which premiered at as an official selection of the Cannes International Film Festival. She is now working on her third publication which will be a book of prose. She will also be partaking in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty Six Books where she has written a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible.
Suheir Hammad Poems
leaves and leaving call october home her daughter releases wood smoke from her skin
poem supposed to be about one minute and the lives of three women in it writing it and up
it is written the act of writing is holy words are sacred and your breath
his approach to love he said was that of a farmer
What I Will
I will not dance to your war drum. I will not lend my soul nor my bones to your war
A Prayer Band
every thing you ever paid for you ever worked on you ever received
jeru salem sun day
Of Woman Torn
palestine's daughter love making can be as dangerous as curfews broken guerillas hidden
"On the brink of…"
On the brink of tears, sanity and war, I feel powerless, hope less and less than alive.
The way loss seeps into neck hollows and curls at temples
it is written
the act of writing is
holy words are
sacred and your breath
brings out the
god in them
i write these words
quickly repeat them
softly to myself