Bushra Rehman’s mother says Bushra was born in an ambulance flying through the streets of Brooklyn. Her father is not so sure. Since there are no definitive records of the time of her birth, there is no real way of knowing, but it would explain a few things. Bushra was a vagabond poet who traveled for years with nothing more than a greyhound ticket and a book bag full of poems. Now, she performs her poetry regularly in theaters and colleges around the world. Lately, she’s been spending her time flying through the streets of Brooklyn and writing an on the road adventure novel for Muslim girls.
In her travels, Bushra met Daisy Hernandez and together they edited a book of essays titled Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism (Seal Press, 2002). Colonize This! has been adopted as essential reading material in women’s studies and ethnic studies classes around the United States. Rebecca Walker has called the book “a must for young women of color searching for themselves within contemporary feminist/womanist discourse, and anyone else who wants to get down with the fierceness of fly, intellectual divas of color.”
Bushra’s poetry has been collected in the chapbook Marianna’s Beauty Salon (Vagabond Press, 2001). Her writing been featured on BBC Radio 4, WNYC, KPFA and in The New York Times, India Currents and NY Newsday. Her work has also appeared in ColorLines, Crab Orchard Review, Mizna, Curve, Sepia Mutiny, The Feminist Wire and SAMAR. Bushra’s work has been anthologized in: Indivisible: Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press), Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality (Sibling Rivalry Press), Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender (Temple University Press), And the World Changed: Contemporary Pakistani Women Writers (Feminist Press), Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies (Kent State University Press) and Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality (Seal Press.
Her first novel Corona (and I’m not talking about the beer) is forthcoming through Sibling Rivalry Press.