Poets In The Pulpit


2020110120201107 (R4)Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan meets Muslim poets continuing the tradition of praise poetry.

During lockdown, Suhaiymah received a large parcel in the post. It was a poem: Qasida Burda – or The Mantle Adorned. It was new to her, but it didn’t take much digging for her to find out it’s one of the most famous poems in Islamic history, if not world history: a praise poem. And as she delved into the history of praise poetry Suhaiymah started making connections with modern spoken word poetry.

In this programme Suhaiymah will talk to spoken word poets who are writing and performing modern praise poems, examining whether they feel free to talk about these issues in poetry in a way they can’t in their daily lives. And she’ll consider whether poetry events help these Muslim poets to form communities of healing away from the state’s purview. Finally she’ll ask how this came about: many modern praise poets came to poetry via rap and only gradually removed the music, but how did they fuse that with religiosity?

Producer: Giles Edwards.