Six years ago Tabassam moved to Clarion, Pennsylvania and took a step back from the academic life of a history professor. Raised in South Carolina, she lived in Philadelphia as an undergraduate and in
London UK as a graduate student. After moving to Northwestern Pennsylvania, she embraced a new life
as a community activist focusing on efforts to support local communities and amplify progressive voices in rural counties.
She began writing poetry as a young teen to process her struggles with the notion of difference
as a child of Pakistani immigrants growing up in the foothills of Southern Appalachia. Through poetry, her emphasis on difference gave way to a focus on the similarities within humanity across the globe. Lately the muse connects her with the natural world, and her writing is often an extension of her
Accolades & Press
Shah's expansive voice is reflective in her ability to shift registers of tone...in a vivid lyrical sense...."
Red & Crescent Moons...introduces an underheard...and fresh voice into the Appalachian poetic lexicon, demonstrating that a breakdown of barriers enriches both of the so-called 'categories' of 'Muslim' and 'Appalachian'...leaving us, particularly in many of this volume's richly crafted poems, with a deeper understanding of each."
"Poets express takes on racism and hate," Butler Eagle, Eddie Trizzino, April 19, 2023:
"Clarion poet hopes to move readers with her writing," By KENN STAUB Leader-Vindicator Correspondent Jun 8, 2023, Clarion poet hopes to move readers with her writing | News | thecourierexpress.com
For immediate release:
On Wednesday, December 28, at 5:00pm poet Tabassam Shah will debut her new collection, Red and Crescent Moons at Watershed Books in Brookville. The book includes a wide variety of Shah’s poetry which is deeply rooted in Appalachia, faith and the depth of nature around us. Shah will read selections and give insight into the poetry collection as well as sign copies or offer pre orders. Watershed Literary Group is proud to be publishing Shah, a local author active in our area’s literary scene and are specifically excited about Moons as we believe it is an amazing work. Please join us to celebrate this Wednesday evening!
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