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Jihad Yassine, a poet’s journey

Jihad Yassine is a 20-year-old early-career poet from Western Sydney. His poetry gives people who feel lost and alone a place to feel safe, inspired by his own experiences growing up.

“I grew up around Bankstown. In those areas, there’s a lot of difficulty … I had to find ways to express my own emotions in a way that was safe to me … and I’ve just been expressing myself ever since.”

Poetry helped Jihad find this voice and Story Factory gave him the platform to amplify it. Through the Year of Poetry program in 2020, Jihad published his first poetry chapbook, River, followed by Interpretation in 2021. Jihad has performed his poetry at Bankstown Poetry Slam, and helped judge Australia’s first National Youth Poetry Slam in 2022. He was also the Poetry Winner for the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers in 2021.

Jihad is currently pursuing carpentry while working on his next poetry collection.

You can purchase Jihad’s books here:
River by Jihad Yassine
Interpretation by Jihad Yassine

Journeys (from River by Jihad Yassine, 2020)

We are books, empty and wordless, / blank and lost, unable / to go out into the world, unable to bear the cost. / Eagerly searching for a pen to fill us / with thoughts and words of power. / Eagerly waiting to see our author and learn off their wisdom / which never goes sour. /

Our empty and blank pages, capable / of both a good and a bad are guided / by a caring voice. / Our unending battles fought tirelessly with your words in our hearts / pushing us on. //

Giving us hope and wings to fly. / Knowing that those who suffer are never those who cry. / And when our story ends our trees shall grow / feeding off the knowledge you so graciously sowed. / When our smiles are lasting and troubles released / we will have nothing but gratitude beneath our feet. / And when our seedlings grow and shine bright / we will tell them stories of our teacher’s endless might. / For stories are told of those we respect / and those we love. / Now we can only hope / our seedlings truly shine above.

_________________

Aphrodite Delaguiado is Senior Manager, Communications and Publishing, for Story Factory.

 

 

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