I WILL RISE BY HANI ABDILE
MELBOURNE LAUNCH : 2pm – 5pm, Sunday January 8, 2017 with Girls on Key OPEN STUDIO 204 High St, Northcote.
From the poet/author Hani Abdile
People often ask me why do I write? What they don’t know is that I wasn’t a writer or a poet until moments of suffering made me a writer.
I was sitting in a place where there was only a fence and hapless humans. My pen and paper were bright flashes that lit up my steps. I had no hope other than writing poetry and turning what I wrote into reality.
When everything else in your life is dictated by others, writing become enjoyable. It is not forced. It is a weapon against stress and despair.
For me it was a way of healing and relief. At first it was just a personal thing that I didn’t want to share with anyone because i was afraid of people discovering my weakness. One day when my eyes were bleeding tears and pain was knocking me away, everything I was feeling came out on the table. I posted a poem on Facebook called Freedom for Education and a remarkable human being sent me a message saying ‘are you a poet?’ I didn’t understand the meaning of the word poet so I googled it. I answered no but Janet didn’t give up on me. We started working together. I kept writing.
I joined Writing Through Fences. It was amazing how welcome I felt thereWe all come from different races and religions. I started to rise and build my talent. I was no longer afraid of my weakness because in Writing Through Fences we had something in common. Everyone was going through hardships of life in different ways and writing the pain was our secret doctor. Now these people are not only fellow members but family and everlasting friends.
I Will Rise shows my development as a writer. It means a lot to me and the people who are by my side through this journey.
From Miles Merril of Word Travels:
Hani is an incredibly brave writer. This book is a cathartic journey, purging her hardships through the creation of beauty. Hani throughout the pain of her experiences has kept hope and joy alive through her poetry. From Somalia to Christmas Island detention to Sydney, the theme of Hani’s challenging life has been and still is ‘I Will Rise’. The poems are full of passion, emotion and intellectual depth. The kind of passion that tears at the reader/listener and forces us to question out won role in keeping prolific artists like this locked away from Australian shores. The richness of her language and the vividness of her imagery signals the beginnings of a great writer. Keep watching this poet.
From Abdi Aden author of The Shining Boy.
I Will Rise is an amazing collection of poetry and prose that dates back years. Hani’s work shines. The stories are full of struggles and warmth of belonging. Hani is able to reflect the absolute angst of being a refugee. I was able to identify myself in her so stories however also gained insights into the plight of others. Without a doubt Hani is a true talent.
From Dr Karen Zwi : Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry into the impact of detention on children.
I first met Hani when she was detained on Christmas Island as an “unacompanied minor” as part of Australia’s policy of mandatory, indefinite detention of asylum seekers arriving by boat. I was visiting as part of the Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry into the impact of detention on children. Hani lit up the room with her smile, her aspirations and her wisdom, even though she and her fellow detainees were locked in a grim and hopeless situation.
Through her remarkable gift of connecting deeply with people, we stayed in contact as she remained detained and reached a point of life-threatening despair and as she was released and began to “rise”. Hani has a “positive soul that gives hope to others”. I have been truly humbled by her strength of character, her intense motivation to learn and explore, her engagement with poetry, photography, hospitality and almost anything else she encounters, and her commitment and kindness to all the people she meets along the way. She has made her way into my heart like no one else I have ever met and her powerful poetry, the “weapon against [her] stress”, will allow her readers that privilege too.
About Hani Abdile
Hani Abdile is a poet, writer, photographer, student and author/poet of I WILL RISE. Hani touches everyone she comes in contact with. Her first collection of poetry and prose has finally been released by Writing Through Fences. Her work offers many the opportunity to experience some of Hani’s spirit, wonder and strength as well as her commitment to justice and life. She speaks the sufferings and joys that few are able to.
Hani says : “My pen and paper were bright flashes that lit up my steps. I had no hope other than writing poetry and turning what I wrote into reality”. I WILL RISE reflects Hani’s tenacity, her dedication to writing and her creative approach to all that life has brought.
Hani began writing in 2013 whilst incarcerated in immigration detention on Christmas Island. Over the three years she has learned to read and write English, has written the collection I Will Rise, has completed 2 years of schooling, become a regular and celebrated spoken word poet in the Sydney scene, has inspired and guided many other writers in similar situations to herself, has spoken publicly and worked on committees to further the rights of children who are seeking asylum in Australia.
Hani is an honorary member of PEN, a lead writer for Writing Through Fences, and has received various awards for her community work and many achievements since being released from immigration detention.
Writing Through Fences are so proud to be associated with her. Hani is a treasured friend and part of our family. We all wish you well with this wonderful achievement dear sister.
I Will Rise is published by Writing Through Fences and can be purchased through the website writingthroughfences.org