Hazem Fahmy

Daniel Nguyen, Photographer

Hazem Fahmy is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated poet and critic from Cairo. He is currently pursuing his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. His debut chapbook, Red//Jild//Prayer won the 2017 Diode Editions Contest. A Watering Hole Fellow, his poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming in Apogee, Bat City Review, Mizna, and The Offing. His performances have been featured on Button Poetry and Write About Now. He is a reader for the Shade Journal, a poetry editor for Voicemail Poems, and a contributing writer to Film Inquiry.

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“Hazem Fahmy’s Red // Jild // Prayer is the type of book that builds a world for the reader to step into. Everything has a life: the streets, the waters, the bodies of people looking for survival. Peep the care taken with images, the ability to craft complicated declarations of faith. ‘I suppose no matter how much we don’t believe in God / we still know how to pray.’ This book is a long, slow, glorious prayer. Fahmy is a confident emerging voice, with thrilling potential.”

—Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

“Hazem Fahmy presents us here with a collection that is simultaneously profoundly intimate and sharply political, marked by desire and its implications and shaped by questions of postcolonialism, faith, and language. These poems deftly defamiliarize ‘a very old world,’ to use the poet’s words, and make it strange and so exciting. How thrilling it is to be a reader, an Arab, and a child of the Nile, in this moment—to have Hazem’s work to reach for.”

—Safia Elhillo

“As Hazem Fahmy weaves their trajectory as a person and artist living in an unsteady world between homeland and diaspora, their writing operates similarly between formal and cultural influences that press upon their craft at all sides. But Fahmy sharpens their tongue against each incisor. Here we have histories, traumas, and bodies that refuse to be swallowed. Instead, they form a new tongue that speaks to us of skin, of burning, of an ancestral language living inside both. This collection is one of urgency. It is pointing to all of the windows containing us inside of tired conversation, then one by one, shattering each window down to sand. Then comes the love letter to sand, to body, to sun, to film, until softness becomes of this voice, part of a larger diaspora that is not often allowed multitudes under the thumb of empire. What a gift of a collection.”

—Jess Rizkallah

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