(Photo by Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)
August 22, 2017
DALLAS (SMU) - As SMU students settle into their new homes on campus this week, Dallas typewriter poet Fatima Hirsi will capture their thoughts on the meaning of home with poems she composes on-the-spot. She will be stationed in the Starbucks coffee shop in Fondren Library from 10 am to 1 pm on Wednesday, August 23.
Hirsi is on campus as the SMU community examines the issues of affordable housing and homelessness as part of SMU Reads. Students and community members read Evicted, Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond for the annual common reading discussion and author Desmond will speak at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium.
Fatima uses a manual typewriter to compose poetry on demand, often clacking away on a street corner in Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District. She teaches poetry workshops, performs at open mic venues and writes and publishes her own poetry. At SMU, students will share with her what home means to them, then Firsi will compose and type a poem just for them. Poems will be displayed at the Matthew Desmond lecture.
August 22, 2017
For Lauren --
She knows what it means
to move like water
with the current --
Home has never been a single place.
Instead, it is the contour
of a single face: her mother's
strength radiating from eyes
that have overcome painful seas.
She learned to swim through
the trials of the world
by watching her mother
stay afloat through storms,
never drowning, even singing
through crashes of thunder.
This is how she found the power of her voice, how to forgive
the sky's unkindness and
to be patient when waiting for sunshine.
She knows from her time at home
with her mother
that the sunshine always comes.