Rapid-Fire With

Fatimah Asghar

November, 2017

Poet Fatimah Asghar

Photo Credit: RJ Eldridge

Can you tell us your favorite:

Haleem & Roti


Fictional Character
Sirius Black

This changes a lot but currently: Moonlight


If you had to have a one-word bio, what would it be for you?

Earliest poetic influences, and current poetic influences?
My family & my peers have been my earliest. When I first started writing poetry I looked up a lot to my friends around me & still do– folks like Franny Choi and Jamila Woods.

My poetry influences range all over the place. I love Ross Gay, Tarfia Faizullah, Natalie Diaz, Patricia Smith– my list can go on and on.

What are you currently reading?
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

I’ve been thinking a lot about our responsibilities–what it means to be a responsible reader or writer. In everything you do, from Brown Girls or panels/performances to poetry, social media and other forms of writing, what do you feel most responsible for in your work?
That varies per project– I feel a lot of responsibility to the purpose of the project, as well as who the intended audience for the project is. I feel a responsibility to treat the characters and images in my work with care and love, to not bring them up to just discard them. I think of the way that I create a lot as a web of relationships I am building– with other artists, with my family, with people– I feel a responsibility to all those things. 


Fatimah Asghar is a nationally touring poet, performer, educator, and writer. Her work has appeared in POETRY Magazine,  BuzzFeed ReaderAcademy of American Poets and many others. She is a member of the Dark Noise collective and a Kundiman Fellow. Her chapbook After was released on Yes Yes Books fall 2015. She is the writer of Brown Girls, an Emmy nominated web series. In 2017 she was the recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her debut collection of poems If They Come For Us is forthcoming on One World/ Random House Summer 2018.