Emerging BIWOC Poet Spotlight

This monthly series features poems by women of color in the early stages of their publishing careers. It is our intention to create more space at Perugia for the work of poets who are Black, Indigenous, and women of color (BIWOC). We hope using our platform to celebrate this work will expand the readership of the poets we spotlight. This series aligns with Perugia’s mission to support and promote emerging women poets; featured poems will be from poets with no more than one published full-length collection. We’d love to hear from readers with suggestions for poems & poets to feature.

September 2023 Poet: Sahar Muradi

Photo by Christopher Lucka

[  ]

In the room / trying on clothes / the three girls / straighten their shirts / and part their hairs / What Must Change / in the mirror / a mustard of body / they have nothing to say to each other / who speaks in poetry / I have nothing to say to them / except the distance / one must not forget / I won’t talk / can never be a colorless matter / I just want to move my hair / from one side / to the Other / in staggered language / and see my reflection          change


[ G A T E S ], Black Lawrence Press, 2017

Poet Bio

Sahar Muradi is author of the forthcoming collection OCTOBERS, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye for the 2022 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She is author of the chapbook [ G A T E S ], the hybrid memoir Ask Hafiz (winner of the 2021 Patrons’ Prize for Emerging Artists from Thornwillow Press), and the chaplet A Garden Beyond My Hand. She is co-editor, with Seelai Karzai, of EMERGENC(Y): Writing Afghan Lives Beyond the Forever War, An Anthology of Writing from Afghanistan and its Diaspora; and, with Zohra Saed, of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature. Sahar is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award in Poetry, a Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award, and twice recipient of the Himan Brown Poetry Award. Her writing has been supported by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Bethany Arts Community, Blue Mountain Center, Kundiman, and WOC Writers. She is co-founder of the Afghan American Artists & Writers Association, directs the arts education programs at City Lore, and dearly believes in the bottom of the rice pot.

To learn more about Sahar Muradi, visit her website.