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  • Writer's pictureNajah Amatullah

Official Updates

I can't believe I have allowed four months to pass since my last blog post. You surely knew I live in Guatemala now. The first post about that is here and the one I posted once we arrived is here. It has been such a whirlwind.

I finished my master's degree in December! It's amazing to be done with the coursework and writing, but so far all I've received is a bill! We went back to the states, to Dallas, for the first time in March for a family reunion. That was a nice time. Now I am waiting to hear back about a part time remote second job and trying to be a writer again.

Grad school reminded me how much I love writing and reading and poetry! I neglected it so much and I wish I had been able to clone myself and do everything at once. This transition to a private school in a conservative country has reminded me what I miss teaching. I miss freedom of content, and open conversations, and families I had built relationships with. I miss feeling deeply connected. That is improving with my increasing understanding of Spanish and I'll save another surprise for my next correspondence.

Below you'll find the blurbs that represent where I want the near future to take us. Yes, us. Will you come with me, please?

Don't forget, I am very active on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. I have Twitter and more followers would tempt me into more activity, ha! The links to all of those websites are in the bar on the main page (and my Linktree at the bottom), according to their logo. If you miss me onstage, I've been reading poems on TikTok this month.

In 2014, when eBooks weren't quite as popular as they are now, I self-published The Risk to Bloom. I was 26 years old. The poems had all been written prior to 2012. They cover the topics of love and relationships (explicitly in some parts, so read with caution!), the art of writing, a smattering of racial, feminist, and political ideology, and the internal dance of evangelical Christianity.

This book contains a few personal revelations, but it primarily contains poems that might resonate with a young femme-identifying person, coming of age, trying to figure out love and religion. It is about big feelings and how those impact our social atmosphere and our internal world.

In January, I made this book available in eBook format. Do you have a copy? (click on the image)

If you're like me and you really still prefer paper books in your hands, The Risk to Bloom is still available in its original format.

However, I think I am going to pull it offline soon, because I want to produce a remix. Book sales and donations will help make that a reality sooner instead of later. I have all the ideas, I just need to be able to pay a babysitter or order take out so I can get them out of my head and onto paper. (click image)

Over the years, I have written dozens of commissioned poems. Most of them were done on the clock and on a typewriter with my friends Chad and Tim, formerly of Short Order Poems. But a few of them were written as direct poem commissions either in simple writing, or in calligraphy art. This is the work I want to get back to.

I had a friend contact me and ask if I could write a poem about what it would be like if Fred [Hampton] and Malcolm X were still alive. And I am so excited about the opportunity to do that work. But I take my historical writing seriously, and I would never start that project without some research. So I would be able to finish that more quickly if people were willing to sponsor it. I also take donations in UberEats coupons. Please send me a message on social media or go to the link below to contribute.

Stay tuned for more on ways I'm going to offer commissioned poems.

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