PEACH x QM Arts Society present: Creator of the Month – Sabirin ‘poetinahijab’ Osoble
We are so excited to introduce our May Creator of the Month! Every month, we will be spotlighting creators from the QM student community across different art forms. Our May Creator of the Month is English with Creative Writing student, poet and artist Sabirin Osoble!
Scroll down to check out our interview with Maya and to read more about her and her work!
Sabirin ‘poetinahijab’ Osoble (she/her)
I am a first-year English with Creative Writing student and I have a passion for writing poetry. With my poetry, I want people to relate, I want to heal, I want people to understand themselves, others and the world as I also tend to write about social issues.
I love to perform my poetry although I am quite shy, once I perform, my worries just leave the door. I am an artsy person so sketching and painting is stuff I like to do in my free time as well as exploring nature and the city. I am exploring outside of my comfort zone with writing like short stories, haiku to help expand my thoughts and feelings in my writing.
Congratulations on being chosen as Creator of the Month! Your bio states that ‘with [your] poetry, [you] want people to relate, [you] want to heal, [you] want people to understand themselves, others and the world as [you] also tend to write about social issues.’ This is especially clear in your collection, sweets from the hijab. What drew you to poetry as the medium for these focuses?
Thank you so much!
Since I was young, I have always loved writing and reading stories but I never used to like studying or writing poetry in primary school funnily enough and I think it is because I never used to understand it. I always believed that poetry has a specific set of requirements like rhyming and writing around 20 lines, I found that difficult to do when I was younger but as I grew, I realised that poetry can be anything from two lines to 3 pages. This is when I knew that I could express myself in an unlimited way, with no worries about restrictions and if I have written too much or too little, poetry gave me that freedom. Freedom to explore myself, my thoughts, feelings and mind as well as helping others explore themselves and understand the world.
Your bio also states that you ‘love to perform [your] poetry.’ Performance is a strong medium. It can give new life and meaning to poems beyond the page. What is it about the relationship between performance and poetry that, you feel, really resonates within your work?
I believe writing the poem gives the poem its own life and journey, as well as reading it. Once someone else has read the poem, it is now theirs, it is a part of their beautiful journey and experience (how I see it) because once you read a poem, it is your mind that is interpreting and breaking down the words and therefore now yours. However, when performing a poem, you bring its life alive from the page and people’s minds. When performing, you have power over which words you want to emphasise and bring across the meaning of the poem and I believe that that power that performance brings to the relationship with poetry is beautifully show stopping.
To be able to carry power through words, tone and your body simultaneously is what I find beautiful about performing.
sweets from the hijab is a beautiful collection that spans a wide range of images, themes and tones. The collection mixes the soft with the sharp and the sweet with the difficult in an exploration of self and the world around you. Tell us more about your process behind sweets from the hijab, where it came from, and what it means to you as both a poet and an individual.
Thank you! sweets from the hijab is a collection of poems that I have been writing since I was around 16 and at 17 and decided to put it into a book. It is a poetry book including a range of topics such as mental health, race and love from the experience of a Black, Muslim girl which I felt like needs to be out there to read and understand but this is also a collection that anyone can resonate with.
The title, sweets from the hijab came from turning something seen as negative to good. The hijab signifies my faith and the image portrayed of Islam in society is saddening to see thus taking a sweet from the hijab as a kind and welcoming gesture is a way I have tried to defy the negative connotations, in a peaceful way like my religion teaches me to be.
(also, a metaphorical way to welcome you to my poems)
Bringing together my book was an exciting moment but also quite nervous to follow through. It was a big step I was taking in my life at 17 but it was the summer and what a better thing to do right! And everyone was supportive of me which I am grateful for.
It did take quite a while to put it all together, deciding which poems to take out, put in, edit, what new poems should I add in, what art should I include, the title?!? However, it is an experience I would like to do again, challenging my creativity as well as exploring it at the same time.
sweets from the hijab means growth to me both as a poet and an individual. As a poet, I can see the growth, the way I write, the style, the tone from each poem in the book to the poem in my recent notes. As an individual I can see the growth in my mindset, the outlook I have on life and how it is portrayed in my writing.
Finally, now that you have published your first collection, where would you like to see your writing go? This can be answered in regard to both career or publishing trajectories or/as well as style and personal development.
With my writing, career wise, I am looking to become a published author/poet as well as perform my poetry.
I am planning to publish more poetry books, maybe novels and short stories to explore my writing in different lanes as well as maybe include some art in them, to bring to life (in another creative way) the life of my writing. I want to continue healing and help people understand each other and the world through my writing.
Personal development wise, I would like to continue to explore painting/sketching with writing as well as writing longer e.g. novels.
Here are just some examples of Sabirin’s work!
i am the darkness of my skin that flows across my grin like a bloodstream all over within
i am the thickness of my thighs like a stuffed pillow waiting for you to sleep goodbye
i am the chubby of my cheeks waiting to laugh whenever you speak
i am the sparkle of my teeth, grinning while you’re beneath
i am the almond of my eye, while i aim way above high
i am the grace of my walk, whilst you carry on and talk
i am the elegance of my smile, like i am walking down the aisle
but that’s not why i smile
you aim to put me down but i will always rise
because all this i possess is only mine.
i am the darkness of my skin
the thickness of my thighs
the chubby of my cheeks
and the sparkle of my teeth
the almond of my eye
the grace of my walk
and the elegance of my smile
Can you say that or are you not in style?
the soul of the wind
the beating of their hearts
the alignment of the souls
the flame in their monotone life
their monotone love
a d i z z y
je t’aime mon amour
because the dampness in the fall can only begin when the brightness of the summer ends
every season has its flaws
Where you can find Devina’s work:
Buy sweets from the hijab here!
You can also find more of Sabirin’s work in our recent print-edition, here!