In this months podcast we introduce you to Kurdish activist, humanitarian, speaker, and writer in exile, Ms. Ava Homa. She believes in the power of books, and her love for writing can be felt in the depth of her imagery and the power of her spirit. In our interview she shares her work and her life experience with us. She believes that people have the potential to move the world and humanity toward a planetary wholeness, and that we have the power to transform every cruelty, and every obstacle to shift into a moment of healing. ~ Jane SpokenWord
Ava Homa: Activist, humanitarian, speaker, and writer in exile. Her debut novel “Daughters of Smoke and Fire” is a survival story. Her collection of short stories “Echoes from the Other Land” (Mawenzi, Toronto, 2010) was nominated for the 2011 Frank O’Conner Short Story Prize and secured a place among the ten winners of the 2011 CBC Reader’s Choice Contest, running concurrently with the Giller Prize. Homa is also the inaugural recipient of the PEN Canada-Humber College Writers-In-Exile Scholarship.
She has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor in Canada, another in English Language and Literature from Tehran, Iran, and a diploma in editing from Toronto. A Writer-in-Residence at the Historic Joy Kogawa House, BC (2013), George Brown College, Toronto (2012), R. D. Lawrence Cultural Centre, Minden Hills (2011), and the Open Book Toronto and Ontario (2011), Homa has taught Creative Writing workshops, judged writing contests, served the editorial board of the Write Magazine and the National Council of The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Homa has delivered speeches on writing as resistance, human rights, gender equality, Kurdish affairs, media literacy, and other topics in different settings across North America and Europe.
Street poet Jane SpokenWord’s performances represent the spoken word as it is meant to be experienced, raw, uncensored and thought provoking. From solos, to slams, duos, trios, and bands, including a big band performance at The Whitney Museum with Avant-Garde Maestro Cecil Taylor which garnered All About Jazz’s Best of 2016. Other collaborations include: Min Tanaka, Miguel Algarin, Beat Poet John Sinclair, her son HipHop musician/producer, DJ Nastee, and her partner in all things, Albey onBass. Combining the elements of spoken word, music, sound and song “Like those of the Jazz poets, the Beats, The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron and others – she is usually accompanied by Albey onBass Balgochian’s moaning, groaning, rumbling contrabass – adding double the gut-punch to her words.” (Raoul daGama) To preserve the cultural heritage of wording to document life, and foster a broader collective community, she brings her poetry and spoken word to a diverse set of venues including museums, festivals, libraries, slam lounges, art galleries, clubs, busking street corners and living rooms everywhere. She has authored two books of poetry with art and music by co-author Albey onBass: Word Against the Machine and Tragically Hip. Publications include: TV Baby A collection of Lower East Side artists – OHWOW, Shadow of The Geode, Bonsia Press, Stars in the Fire and Palabras Luminosas – Rogue Scholars Express and We Are Beat in the National Beat Poetry Anthology.
A special thank you to Albey ‘onBass’ Balgochian for the sound engineering in the prelude and postlude of the audio. Albey’s performances range from the Bowery Poetry Club to the Whitney Museum of American Art, his résumé includes many distinguished artists including Nuyorican Poet Miguel Algarin, Beat Poet John Sinclair, Darryl Jones (Miles Davis, Rolling Stones,) and the Cecil Taylor Trio & Big Band (“Best of ’05, ’09, ’16” All About Jazz) https://albeybalgochian.com/