Amerah is a British Yemeni poet from Birmingham. She has been writing and performing for 10 years across spoken word and theatre. She has taken her poetry all around the world to share messages with young people. She is a Board Member at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Co-founder of Verve Poetry Press and a Producer at Free Radical as part of The Beatfreeks Collective.
Amerah is well known in Birmingham as one who encourages and develops a love of poetry and its possibilities in young people. She has had a massive impact on the local scene.
Did you know? Amerah performed at The Birmingham Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony on Sunday April 15 2018 which was broadcast live to the world!
I Am Not From Here has been a long time coming. It is a collection that twists and turns through the complexities of being Birmingham born but of Yemeni decent and culture; of being Muslim in a city of mixed faiths and in a country of little faith; of spending time in Yemen only to find that as a result you are refused entry to other countries and have forgotten how to live in yours; of losing loved ones too young (and when are we ever old enough for that?); of being split between the language and words of two tongues, and often finding that neither has the words you need; of facing hatred for acts that were none of your doing.
This book contains and engages with all this. That it doesn’t burst is down to the unique and unifying voice of Amerah’s poetry. Brimming with emotion, anger, frustration, grief and love – the beauty of the imagery, the often breath-taking turns of phrase, the soaring imagination, the gently woven structure, all help to turn the torments and confusion of a fractured experience into something unique and compelling. Amerah, against so many odds, has achieved something whole here – a complete and vibrant piece of work.
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Amerah is a wonderful performer – catch her live if you can. This super video of her wonderful poem Fire-Eating Butterflies, gives you an idea. Filmed by the Beatfreeks Collective.