22 Jun, 2017

reconnecting circles in a backyard…

Sehba Sarwar
22 Jun, 2017

November 2009: Audience members in my Houston backyard at a production I created, Honoring Dissent/Descent, to honor my father Dr. Mohammad Sarwar, and living activist Daniel Bustamante; photo by Eric Hester

A decade ago, I met Lauren Eggert-Crowe in Atlanta at the Association for Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference, where I was part of a panel entitled “The Imagination of Displacement“—a subject that I continue to explore through my writings and visual art. At the time, Lauren was producing a zine, Galatea’s Pants, which she generated as a hand-produced publication, resisting the ease of computers. That year, she conducted a phone interview with me, which she published in her zine.

Lauren went on to complete the MFA program at the University of Arizona, while I directed my energy toward motherhood and developing new productions through Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB). Busy with our lives, we dropped out of touch.

But six months ago, shortly after my family’s move to southern California, I attended LitCrawl to support Pat Alderete and liz gonzález, my friends from the Macondo Writers Workshop. That night, I ran into Lauren—who was also performing—and learned that she had moved to LA a few years ago. Since our fall 2016 encounter, I’ve seen Lauren many times at Women Who Submit, a support group for women writers, which she co-administers.

One of the first things that Lauren said to me was: “I’d love to invite you for a reading in my backyard.”

I was moved by her invitation, especially since I have a long history of experiencing and creating art in residential homes. While growing up in Karachi, my parents often opened out our living room and garden for poetry readings, music, and dance performances. And in my more recent “home,” Houston, I created art installations and collaborated with artists to transform residential homes into performance and interactive art spaces.

Lauren is organizing a backyard reading (something she does often), and on Saturday, June 24, I will read my work alongside three women writers—Iris De Anda, Melissa Chadburn, and Myriam Gurba—in her backyard. If you’re in LA and available to attend, please message me so I can share the address!


November 2009: Audience members viewing my installation Listening from Within at a production Honoring Dissent/Descent, that I created to honor my father Dr. Mohammad Sarwar, and living activist Daniel Bustamante; photo by Eric Hester

22 Jun 2017 · 03:44:31 PM