I’m editing my novel The Secret of Maimonides. It’s a thriller set in modern times, yet digs deep in the past to discover secrets of the Middle East. The story developed as an act of creative empathy, written from the points of views of characters of various faith traditions, and I spent years researching it. And I’m always working on poetry, and short stories. I’m also compiling memoir stories about my experience of having practiced medicine in Egypt and in the States.
I have an interest in the Middle East as I grew up in Egypt, and I studied world religions and history to anchor my story in facts. As for poetry, once I read Li-Young Lee’s “The Rose,” something unleashed in me. Poetry is a way of looking at the world, to show how the transcendent lurks in the ordinary, to develop threads that evoke recognition in the reader. A bonus has been making friends with the vibrant community of writers in Michigan. I’m lucky to have been published in major venues and to have won some national competitions.
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I felt an irresistible urge to write 10 years ago. I sat on my computer every night composing and transcribing my thoughts. I subscribed to writing magazines and attended workshops. I read books about how to write books. Slowly, I developed work that might be publishable. You can’t substitute for the creative impulse, but you still need to learn craft. Like a pianist, no matter his/her sense of musicality, still needs to practice. I read and write every day. When I write short stories, I remember the words of Andre Aciman, Comparative Literature Professor and founder of the Writer’s Institute in NYC that I attended, Writing is writing, you just wear different hats. I needed to learn conventions so I could break them when necessary. My day starts and ends with poetry.
Nadia Ibrashi’s work has received prizes in competitions held by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, the Poetry Society of Michigan, Ebony, Writer’s Digest, Gemini Magazine, Springfed Arts, the X. J. Kennedy Awards, and others. Her work appears in The Southeast Review, Nimrod, Narrative, Quiddity, Tidal Basin Review, The MacGuffin, The Whirlwind Review, Rosebud, Atticus Review, Alimentum, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, The New Sound, and others. Her stories were finalists in the Tifferet Journal of Spiritual Literature and Raymond Carver contests, both in 2015. She is assistant editor at Narrative magazine, and graduated as a fiction fellow with the Writers’ Institute, CUNY. She is a member of Detroit Working Writers and Springfed Arts, and has practiced medicine in Egypt and in the States.
Queen Mobs: poems “You Can’t Write Poetry in a Language Not Your Own,” and “A Visit to my Mother’s Seamstress”
Narrative Nagazine: short short story “A Lebanese Feast”
Alimentum Journal: poem “Way of Buddha”
Southeast Review: poem “Fish, Curse and Cure”
Mobius Magazine short story “Write Your Story: The Show”
Atticus Review: poem “The Queen of Sheba Meets King Solomon”
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of adult contemporary fiction In the Context of Love, 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist, 2016 Readers Favorite Finalist, 2015 Great Midwest Book Festival Award
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.