Amir Rabiyah

Below is the official première of "Our Phoenix," commissioned by GALA Choruses for the quadrennial GALA Choruses Festival at Bellco Theatre in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, 3 July 2016. The text was taken from "Our Dangerous Sweetness" by Amir Rabiyah.


Amir Rabiyah is a trans and two-spirit disabled queer femme poet and writing coach. They were born in London, England to a mixed Cherokee and white mother and a Lebanese and Syrian father. Their work explores living life on the margins and at the intersections of multiple identities. Amir writes about living with chronic pain and illness, war, trauma, spirituality, healing, redemption--and speaks on silenced places. Amir's first full collection poetry book, Prayers for My 17th Chromosome, available for through Sibling Rivalry Press. This debut collection was a finalist for the Triangle Publishing Award, and an ALA Over the Rainbow pick. Amir is also the co-editor of Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices and has published in numerous anthologies and journals. They currently live in North Carolina and believe domestic work, chanting Sufi prayers over a home cooked meal, and nurturing our community is crucial for revolution. 

 Amir's work has also been published in Mizna, 580 Split, Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, Enizagam, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, the Asian American Literary Review, Kweli Journal, Sukoon, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality and more. Amir is a three time VONA (Voices of our Nations) fellow. They were a finalist in the 2008 Joy Harjo Poetry contest, the 2012 Enizagam poetry contest, and the Atlanta Review's 2013 poetry contest. Amir has travelled extensively all over the United States leading workshops, and sharing their stories and poems. In 2009, Amir had the privilege of being an STP with June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley where they supported emerging poets develop their craft and deepen their voice. Amir has participated in residencies at: THIS Bridge: Arab, Middle Eastern & Muslim Artists Series at University of Southern Florida, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts in Northern Georgia, Kimmel Nelson Harding Center in Nebraska, The Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology in Michoacán, Mexico and more. Amir is the co-editor of Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices published by Trans-Genre Press in October of 2015. They have collaborated with composer Mari Esabel Valverde who created original musical scores of "Our Dangerous Sweetness" for commission with The Esoterics of Seattle, One Voice Chorus of Charlotte, One Voice Mixed Chorus of St. Paul, River City Mixed Chorus of Omaha, Singing Out of Toronto, and Voices of Kentuckiana of Louisville for GALA Choruses Festival 2016.