Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr
Breiseth Hall 570-408-4235(T) 570-408-7846 (F) Email
Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr – Poet, Essayist, Playwright.
She is originally from West Africa. She has been involved in higher education and the arts for over four decades. Her works are widely anthologized and she has two collections of poetry and a play from Africa World Press. Her poems have been published in a wide range of journals; Renaissance Noire/Black Renaissance, Quiddity, and a dirge she wrote for the late South African artist, Dumile Femi, was published in the Johannesburg Museum of Art, a retrospect of the artist’s life. She is featured in a documentary of the artist’s life by fellow South African, Ramadan Sulieman. For the past thirty five years she has continued to run Salon d’ Afrique, a meeting place for artists, activists, writers from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe to enjoy exchanging ideas and their works. She currently is on the graduate faculty of the Creative Writing of the MA and MFA department at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA where she teaches poetry, creative non-fiction and fiction. An active member of many professional organizations, African Literature Association, PEN, Pen & Brush and OWWA, the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, she participates in national and international conferences, presenting scholarly papers as well as her own works. Her work has been translated into many languages including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Papiamento. She lives in Harlem and is very active in community affairs especially with the immigrant communities. She was involved with a small Somali community in association with The University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Ismaili AbuBakr was invited to the International Poetry Festival July 2009, in Medellin, Colombia, South America and to Nicaragua in 2010. A new anthology of African love poems from Southern Illinois University Press, BENDING THE BOW, edited by Frank Chipasula, has a few of her poems. She was invited to Illinois to take part in a reading and roundtable of some of the poets and the artist who created the cover. She has done workshops with City Lore with Muslim High School young poets and accompanied them to a reading at the Dodge Festival of Poetry in New Jersey. Her poems have been used as the basis and text for an opera by an African American composer, Dr. Joyce Solomon Moorman. Excerpts were performed at the African American Music and Culture conference September, 2009 in California. In October 2012 coordinated the second Anansi, Literature for Children of African Descent. In February 2011, she participated in a conference on James Baldwin at New York University. There she participated in a panel and read from her collection of poems based on the life and writings of James Baldwin, “Cantata for Jimmy.” In April 2011, Dr. Ismaili AbuBakr participated in a two day event; “Illuminated Verses; poetry of the Muslim World” a joint effort sponsored by City Lore and Poets House. In October 2011 she spent a week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she participated in the annual St. Paul Almanac reading series. An article she wrote based on her experiences while Writer in Residence for the Twin Cities Consortium of Colleges and Universities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, was published by the Almanac. Recently she has had a poem published in KONCH, an ezine edited by Ishmael Reed, created and read poems based on paintings of Tessfaye Tesema, an Ethiopian painter at the Maplewood Arts Gallery in New Jersey, conducted writing workshops using art as a tool for the poetic creation. Currently she is working on a novel of linked short stories and a creative non-fiction book and planning an international conference of Women Writers of Africa in Accra, Ghana, 2013.
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