Things are shifting, dear friends, which has been a consistently auspicious sign for me in the past: not of joy or prosperity, which are always welcome, but of the seeds of growth that blow in on new winds.
One important expression of this shift is the birth of a new project, long dreamed about and mulled over, and finally manifesting in a labor (like, burning-the-midnight-oil sort of labor) of love.
Hargeisa Literary Magazine brings together some of the strongest elements in my life right now: creative writing and Somali culture. I’m fortunate to have convinced a good friend to squander her free time on the same, and we’re full-speed-ahead towards the publication of an inaugural issue on 1 April.
The magic is in the mission of this apparently niche endeavor: to provide a platform for the diverse and cosmopolitan array of Somali voices worldwide. So yes, the Magazine will feature creative writing and visual art from Somalis, but lest you think that’s a limited scope, consider the mind-boggling global reach of this historically nomadic community, from immigrants to 10th generation diaspora now 2 million strong, not to mention important regional differences in language, landscape, culture, and allegiance within Somalia, Somaliland, and Puntland.
I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m pushing as fast and hard as I can to make this thing go. We’re mobilizing submissions at the moment, and it’s an uphill battle when you’re starting from zero. If any of you are marketers, promoters, social media wizards, literary gurus, or enjoy access to Somali communities anywhere in the world, your suggestions and advice are so very welcome–and needed!
We’re looking for fiction, creative non-fiction, interviews, and of course poetry from the Nation of Poets, in English, Somali, and Arabic languages. Digital access is free. Submissions guidelines can be found here. More information on this lofty endeavor, and on me and my partner-in-crime, can be found here. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to stay updated. And if you’re one-tenth as enthused as I am to read amazing writing and have access to a new platform for art, please share with your peers!
Best wishes to everyone balancing passions and paychecks !