Telling Our 2020 Stories: Poetry & Visual Storytelling Workshop

Telling Our 2020 Stories

From the coronavirus pandemic to the Beirut blasts to the U.S. elections, this year has been intense. AANM wants to document your 2020 story, and help you tell it. It could be a personal essay about dealing with lockdown, a poem about Lebanon, perhaps a recipe for a dish that gave you comfort, or something else.

This November, artist-in-residence Zahir Janmohamed will give three online interactive writing workshops to help you complete your first draft. The first will focus on personal essay writing, the second on poetry and visual storytelling, and the final one on food writing! Each workshop will feature guest speakers from the metro Detroit area who are experts in their field. The workshops will conclude with an online public reading on Monday, Nov. 30 in which participants will be invited to share their work.

8 – 9:30 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 16, 2020
Workshop 2: Poetry & Visual Storytelling with Zahir Janmohamed + Guests Joumana Altallal & Razi Jafri

Online via Zoom
Free with RSVP

Documentary filmmaker and photographer Razi Jafri and poet Joumana Altallal join workshop facilitator Zahir Janmohamed to speak how they use their respective mediums to tell stories. Razi will explore photographry and Joumana will discuss her approach to poetry writing.

If you have any questions, e-mail Kathryn Grabowski, Curator of Public Programs at kgrabowski@accesscommunity.org.

Other workshops in this series:

Nov. 9: Workshop 1: Personal Essay Writing with Zahir Janmohamed

Nov. 23: Workshop 3: Food Writing with Zahir Janmohamed + Guests Serena Maria Daniels, Brittany Hutson, Nargis Hakim Rahman & Fred Sareini


Joumana Altallal is a Zell Fellow in Poetry at the University of Michigan. Her work appears in Glass Poetry, Mud Season Review, Bayou Magazine, and Rusted Radishes, among others. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writer’s Conference, and the Radius for Arab American Writers.


Razi Jafri is a documentary photographer and the co-director of the forthcoming Hamtramck, USA. He is also a graduate student at the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.


Zahir Janmohamed is a Zell Writing fellow at the University of Michigan where he received his MFA in creative writing and earned awards for his fiction, nonfiction, poetry and playwriting. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Guernica, and many other publications. He is also the co-founder of the James Beard nominated food podcast Racist Sandwich.


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Due to the pandemic, we have been closed to the public since March 13. Closed doors mean that our earned revenue streams have dried up, and corporate funds have been pivoted to assist with COVID-19 relief or for their own financial survival. We are looking forward to the day we can safely reopen, but until then, we need your support.

Your donation today will help us weather this crisis.

  • November 16, 2020 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  • 8:00 pm