Saturday, May 15 • 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Sheyr Jangi: Lineages of Survival

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Poetic duels are found across cultures and times, with vibrant traditions throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. The Afghan tradition is called sheyr jangi, or “poetry fighting,” and has roots in early medieval Central Asian Courts.

As poets of South Asian descent, we pay homage to this tradition–with a twist. With our audience’s involvement, we invite our poets to “fight” for justice while honoring our ancestors and resilience.

Even as we experience the overturning of the Muslim Ban and a Black & South Asian American Vice President, much work of justice is yet to be done. Poets Aurora Masum-Javed, Sahar Muradi, Zohra Saed, and Purvi Shah will share their work as well as invite our audience to collaborate in improvisational sheyr jangi. In this time, we will enable Festival participants to hear poetry from communities directly impacted by xenophobic policies and co-create lineages for survival and resilience.

We bring expertise as cultural workers engaged in activism, social practice, community dialogue, and mobilizing the literary community–providing an urgent and life-affirming participatory event. After the last years of language being co-opted, we bring forth community truths and connections.

Link to recording:  https://salemstate.zoom.us/rec/share/NqTzMcVxecRTxoA3aMEAbrYZeNVIf941pmPh3iEJ60zWgHx3Wzarold_ACt3VvDJ.4diawVUpbzKo2fYy

avatar for Zohra Saed

Zohra Saed

Zohra Saed is a Brooklyn-based writer. She is the co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press), and editor of Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos, and Notebooks from Turkestan (Lost & Found, The CUNY Poetics... Read More →
avatar for Aurora Masum-Javed

Aurora Masum-Javed

Aurora Masum-Javed is a poet, writing coach, and educator. A former public school teacher, she received her MFA from Cornell University. Her work can be found at Aster(ix), Frontier, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. She's received fellowships from MacDowell, Caldera, and Kundiman... Read More →
avatar for Purvi Shah

Purvi Shah

Purvi Shah’s favorite art practices are her sparkly eyeshadow, raucous laughter, and seeking justice. She won the inaugural SONY South Asian Social Service Excellence Award for her leadership in fighting violence against women. Her new book, Miracle Marks, explores women, the sacred... Read More →
avatar for Sahar Muradi

Sahar Muradi

Sahar Muradi is a writer, performer, and educator born in Afghanistan and raised in the U.S. She is the author of the chapbooks [ G A T E S ], and A Garden Beyond My Hand, co-author of A Ritual in X Movements, and co-editor of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary... Read More →

Saturday May 15, 2021 2:15pm - 3:15pm EDT