What we're about

"Qahwa" in Arabic means coffee. Qahwa Art Cafe hosts monthly poetry circle meetings, poetry chats, discussions, workshops and more. So if you are a poet, live in Toronto, and you want to socialize with other poets in Toronto and share/talk about poetry, this is a group for you.

To learn more visit http://www.torontopoetryclub.ca/

Or join our Facebook group at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/torontopoetry/ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/torontopoetry/')

Our typical meetup is a Poetry Circle Meetup:

Poetry Circle Meetups are basically just that, we sit in a circle of chairs and each person gets a turn reading their poetry and then we discuss your poetry and provide feedback.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own poetry for reading, to present it in whatever fashion you desire, and if you feel uncomfortable reading aloud then someone else can read your poetry for you.

So bring your poetry. Feel free to bring extra copies that can be passed around.

Invite your poetry writing friends.

Expect to be entertained by the wide breadth of poets we have in Toronto.

Meetings last typically 90 minutes or more, depending on how many people come to the meetup. So if you show up 30 minutes late you can still present your poetry to the group for commentary.

About the Organizer:

Ghadeer Elghafri, a Palestinian-Canadian Poet from Gaza, born and raised in Dubai, living in Toronto, is a new immigrant, warrior, healer, feminist, activist and advocate. She completed her BSc. in Computer Science and MBA at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. She published her poetry in newspapers, magazines and a chapbook, Poetry ReRooted: Decolonizing Our Tongues. Ghadeer performed in dozens of poetry nights and read her Arabic poetry with English translation. She organized multilingual open mic poetry nights in the GTA. She was approved for a grant from The Toronto Arts Council to start up a Multilingual Poetry Collective. Ghadeer poetry inspired the community by conveying a message, changing narratives, breaking stigmas, reinforcing cultural heritage and creating awareness in the society. She had been elected as the Representative of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) Alumni in North America. She started three on-line groups- Qahwa Art Cafe, Toronto Muslim Friends, Childhood Trauma Survivors. Ghadeer performed in “Home Away From Home: An Art for Integration Event,” an interactive theatre performance by Mixed Company Theatre, opening the dialogue on the complexities and challenges Arab newcomers to Canada face, such as identity, loneliness, cross-cultural adaptation and homesickness. She is an Ontario Ambassador, Outreach to Muslim & Arab speaking community of National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA). Ghadeer's vision and mission in life is to stop, prevent and heal child sexual abuse, by working with adult/child survivors, creating awareness by educating care givers, children and schools and breaking the cycle of abuse. She will startup her own business of Qahwa Art Cafe in Toronto which is a safe and family community space to perform art.

Follow her on:

https://www.youtube.com/ghadeerelghafri
https://www.facebook.com/GhadeerElGhafri
https://m.facebook.com/khansaainaik
http://ghafwatgefen.blogspot.ca
Twitter: @khansaainaik

Upcoming events (2)

Online MAWAH Anthology Launch Poetry Night

Online event

Please RSVP in Eventbrite. Here is the Eventbrite link of the book launch poetry night:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/online-mawah-anthology-launch-poetry-night-tickets-142198346081?keep_tld=1

Here is the Facebook event link:

https://fb.me/e/82AyC9buD

Let's gather online to read & listen to poetry. The theme will be about Muslim American Writers At Home (MAWAH) Anthology launch reading. The writers of the book in Canada and US will be invited to read their poetry online.

I am very proud to announce that my poem "Alhuwiyya (The Identity)" has been published in the Muslim American Writers At Home Anthology by Freedom Voices Publications freedomvoices.org in San Francisco in the new year 2021. The book will be released in March 1st.

Also, we will enjoy a multilingual open mic poetry night. People read and sang before in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Tagalog, Irish and African languages.

You can read in any language and it is always good to read the English translation or summary of your poetry, share it in the Google Meet shared screen or put it in the Google Meet chat section for audience to read it.

Let us know if you are interested in getting feedback for your poetry from the audience. If you don't want to read about the theme, it is OK. You can read about anything you like. If you want to read poetry written by other Poets, it is OK.

If you don't want to read, it is OK. You can enjoy others poetry and cheer for them. If you wanna slam, rap, sing, play guitar or play any musical instrument you have, please do.

Every Poet/Performer is allowed for 3 to 5 minutes only. If there is still more time, we will go for a 2nd and a 3rd round. Let us know in which language are you going to read your poetry in the comment section bellow.

Please make sure to have a real profile name and a visible picture there to recognize you in the online event. Thanks!

I would encourage all participants to turn their camera on to know them. It is a social and networking event. Thanks!

Spread the word and tell your friends to join us.

Happy poetry sharing😊

***

We are absolutely thrilled to inform you that the Muslim American Writers at Home (MWAH) Anthology is now available for pre-order!!

You can read more about the book and pre-order a copy from the publisher here:
http://freedomvoices.org/new/Muslim-American-Writers-at-Home

You can also pre-order copies from your local bookstore (if available):
https://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder

Or from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Muslim-American-Writers-Home-Diversity/dp/0915117320/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=muslim+american+writers+at+home&qid=1611550774&sr=8-1 (U.S)

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=Muslim+American+Writers+At+Home&i=stripbooks&creative=330641&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin (Canada)

If you're interested, other ways you can help support the book:

• Share this post!
• Request a copy from your local library.
• If you've read the book already, write a book review on Goodreads or on Amazon.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55812454-muslim-american-writers-at-home

• Tell others about the book via word of mouth, email, social media, etc.
• If you're an instructor, consider teaching Muslim American Writers at Home in your course ( the book is suitable for College and University level courses as well as High School)

• Let us know if you'd like to host an event or facilitate an interview with the editors/authors, or if you have any other ideas or suggestions for how to spread the word about Muslim American Writers at Home Anthology. Feel free to forward this message to others who might be interested.

Thank you so much for your time and support!!

***

Muslim American Writers At Home (MWAH) is an anthology comprised of stories, essays, and poems about identity, diversity, and belonging from North American writers who self-identify as Muslim.

Edited by Valerie Behiery, Kitty Costello, and Hanan Hazime, this timely collection allows us to hear firsthand the amazingly diverse voices of North American Muslim writers speaking for themselves. Stereotypes are overturned on every page.

Shaped by an impressive interweave of cultures, languages and ethnicities, these writers reflect on what it means to find home—especially when prejudices and distortions abound—and how powerful it can be to feel heard, recognized, welcomed.

They share their family lore, spiritual journeys, childhood dreams, memories of homes they left. They offer prayers for our world. They show us how astonishingly vast and varied Muslim American identity and experiences really are—from Miꞌkmaq Muslims to Muslims whose ancestors came on the Mayflower; from Indian Americans to American Indians, from Tunisian-Canadians to Puerto Ricans to Palestinians to Irish-American Muslims inspired to convert by reading Malcolm X, and more.

In this chorus of unique voices, there is a unity—whether Muslim-born or a convert, immigrant or North-America-born, a seasoned elder or a budding young poet, each writer invites us to fall in love with their humanity.

Advance Praise:

Muslim American Writers at Home is a compelling compilation that sheds light on the lived experiences of Muslims from diverse backgrounds, living in Canada and the U.S. Works like this are especially important in our current times as it is critical that Muslim artists take ownership of their own stories and narratives.
- GAMA (Gathering All Muslim Artists)

These authentic, diverse and multidimensional voices lift "layers of ignorance" about Muslims and Islam as they take us beyond and beneath the mainstream, fake narrative. Interweavers of creativity and spirituality, these Muslim authors, whether born in, brought to, or fled to North America, take us to their "real" world of being "racialized, minoritized, and thus dehumanized," via firsthand story-tellings of lived experiences, as we forge ahead toward understanding, faith, love, peace and justice, inshallah. An insightful, painful, impressive, hopeful read.
- Laila Hasib, Inked Resistance Islamic Publishing

At times heartbreaking and beautiful, and at times raw and unvarnished, this worthy anthology provides non-Muslim readers with the perfect antidote to the stereotypes that pervade popular media. This collection contains true gems.
- Graeme Truelove, author of Un-Canadian: Islamophobia in the True North

This anthology gives voice to diverse Americans and Canadians whose identities include being Muslim. These writings are moving, powerful, and a celebration of our common humanity. It is not a book to be read once and then stored on your library shelf. Rather, these stories should be shared and discussed with others so as to develop a greater understanding of the life experiences of North American Muslims
- Alia Hogben, Former Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

These powerful, poignant, personal stories about being a Muslim in North America make for a compelling and very readable collection - one that cries out for our attention.
- Linda McQuaig, Canadian journalist & author

Poetry Event Organizers Wanted
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Past events (79)

Online Spring Poetry Night

Online event

Photos (755)