Halal If You Hear Me: The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3

Halal If You Hear Me: The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3

We live in an Islamophobic world, where Muslim people are constantly under attack, and must prove their innocence when they’ve not even committed a crime. We also live in a world of rigid gender roles and gender violence, where women, gender non-conforming and trans people are victims of violence, and have their gender expressions, freedoms, and desires policed. There’s pr...

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Title:Halal If You Hear Me: The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3
Author:Fatimah Asghar
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Edition Language:English

Halal If You Hear Me: The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3 Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This collection is the third in the BreakBeat Poets series, all of which are highly recommended -

    followed by

    . There are some poets shared between this volume and the others, although this one focuses on poets of Muslim identities, often at the intersection of blackness and brownness, or claiming space inside/next to Muslim identity for varying gender and sexual identities. All through wor

    This collection is the third in the BreakBeat Poets series, all of which are highly recommended -

    followed by

    . There are some poets shared between this volume and the others, although this one focuses on poets of Muslim identities, often at the intersection of blackness and brownness, or claiming space inside/next to Muslim identity for varying gender and sexual identities. All through words, transcribed, proclaimed, and collected here.

    Two poets I have previously appreciated edited the volume - Safia Elhillo (

    ) and Fatimah Asghar (

    .) Some of my previous favorites are represented here as well - Tarfia Faizullah (

    ) and Warsan Shire (you may know her best from being the poet behind the spoken parts of Beyonce's Lemonade.) Many of the poets I have encountered previously in some of the new-generation African or African American poet chapbook sets from Akashic, but it felt like most of the poems in this collection were new.

    Some of my favorite discoveries in this volume:

    Nadra Mabrouk - Memory in Which We Are Not Singing But You Are Home

    Sahar Romani - Burden of Proof (available at

    H.H. - QM

    Zaina Alsous - On Longing (available at

    )

    But it's all good. All recommended.

  • Leah Rachel von Essen

    Halal if You Hear Me is the third volume of The Breakbeat Poets anthology series from Haymarket Books. This one is edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo, and features poetry and essays by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, and/or trans, and seeks to “dispel the notion that there is one correct way to be a Muslim, by holding space for multiple, intersecting identities while celebrating and protecting those identities.”

    It’s a fantastic anthology, full of excellent poetry. I

    Halal if You Hear Me is the third volume of The Breakbeat Poets anthology series from Haymarket Books. This one is edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo, and features poetry and essays by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, and/or trans, and seeks to “dispel the notion that there is one correct way to be a Muslim, by holding space for multiple, intersecting identities while celebrating and protecting those identities.”

    It’s a fantastic anthology, full of excellent poetry. I have several new favorite poets. I dog-eared the pages with a small fold whenever there was a poem that hit me hard: now my book’s pages ruffle out past their usual limits to accommodate so much folding. New poets I must follow include Saquina Karla C. Guiam, Beyza Ozer, Dilruba Ahmed, Safia Elhillo, Khadijah Queen, Rasha Abdulhadi, Adam Hamze, and of course there are also the poets I knew of and love, Hala Alyan, Fatimah Asghar, Angel Nafis. And even then I had to force myself to be selective with my folds; the entire book of poetry was worth folding into my bookshelf. It’s an anthology full of life, flowing from poem to poem, section to section (Shahada, Sawm, Hajj, Salah, Zakat), and with much to learn and enforce in the wide range of Muslim identities and lives and loves.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Halal if You Hear Me: The Breakbeat Poets, Vol. 3 comes out April 2 from Haymarket Books.

  • Menna

    Effusive praise lies ahead. This collection is divided into five parts, one part for each pillar of Islam. It honestly felt like hearing from an older sister that I don’t have, especially the fifth Zakat part. Reading it is probably the most seen I’ve ever felt, to the extent that I felt like it were the NSA, instead of Safia Elhillo and Fatimah Asghar, that put it together. I can go on for a long time about different aspects of it, but I will avoid spoiling details about what the collection add

    Effusive praise lies ahead. This collection is divided into five parts, one part for each pillar of Islam. It honestly felt like hearing from an older sister that I don’t have, especially the fifth Zakat part. Reading it is probably the most seen I’ve ever felt, to the extent that I felt like it were the NSA, instead of Safia Elhillo and Fatimah Asghar, that put it together. I can go on for a long time about different aspects of it, but I will avoid spoiling details about what the collection addresses. Overall, it was powerful to have the chance to internalize, page after page, that there are different ways to be Muslim. And so much more, but read it for yourself.

  • Nuha

    As a Muslim American who has questions about my faith, my cultural background and my society, this book is an amazing reprieve. It feels like being welcomed by a form of Islam that I wish I had when I was younger. An Islam that welcomes queer, questioning, non heterosexual, non cis gendered bodies. It was very healing.

  • Jessica Ainsworth

    I could relate to this story being Muslim is very scary for some people in America . Especially if their is no male figure I the home. They feel more vulnerable and afraid of gestures, remarks and actions of mostly white people whom never seem they will or want to understand what it truly means to be a Muslim.

  • Jenna

    is a wonderful collection of poems and essays by Muslims around the world. The contributors talk about everything from pride in their beliefs, to how it feels to deal with prejudice, to what it's like to be an LGBQT Muslim, and more. I really enjoyed reading them, gaining a better understanding of what it's like being Muslim in a world where Muslims are often vilified. It is also eye-opening to see the range of beliefs held by Muslims. Just as the

    is a wonderful collection of poems and essays by Muslims around the world. The contributors talk about everything from pride in their beliefs, to how it feels to deal with prejudice, to what it's like to be an LGBQT Muslim, and more. I really enjoyed reading them, gaining a better understanding of what it's like being Muslim in a world where Muslims are often vilified. It is also eye-opening to see the range of beliefs held by Muslims. Just as there are many different beliefs held by Christians, so too do Muslims believe many different things. I am grateful to this book for letting me into the lives and minds, however briefly, of all these people, grateful to them for sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

    I particularly enjoyed the LGBQT+ poems, being able to relate to a lot of what was written. Having read the galley version, I'm unable to quote any of the poems, but there are several that I loved! I think this is a very important collection, one that can help dispel stereotypes and prejudice against Muslims. I recommend it for that reason, and because so many of the poems are beautifully, honestly, and powerfully written.

    Thank you to Haymarket Books and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a free DRC of this book. This did not influence my review in any way.

  • Zoha

    crying bc the essays at the end on being queer and muslim literally felt like they were written for me, just to make me feel less alone

  • Alex Johnson

    It was great to have so many explicitly Muslim voices in a collection of poetry. These poems really highlighted the strength of poetry—making old things new and shifting perspectives. I learned a lot about all the different facets of Muslim life accompained with some hard-hitting lines. Again, I'm seeing that for me bingeing on poetry works with 80 page single author poetry collections but not on bigger anthologies. I also didn't love the prose selections at the end of the work; they were much l

    It was great to have so many explicitly Muslim voices in a collection of poetry. These poems really highlighted the strength of poetry—making old things new and shifting perspectives. I learned a lot about all the different facets of Muslim life accompained with some hard-hitting lines. Again, I'm seeing that for me bingeing on poetry works with 80 page single author poetry collections but not on bigger anthologies. I also didn't love the prose selections at the end of the work; they were much less powerful. Overall, a great collection of vibrant voices and a goldmine for windows & mirrors depending on your identity.

  • Minam

    “...I feel most Muslim when my hand is held, when my grandmother takes my feet into her lap, when the breeze brushes past, so gently that my fingertips ache at the promise of touch, or when a plum, cut in half, is glowing pink on the inside, shot through with little veins of gold, and it makes me want to cry.”

  • Mir

    I learned of this collection from my poet friend

    , who shared this fantastic poem:

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