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Mercer Artist: Anisah Muhammad

Anisah+Muhammad+recites+an+original+poem+at+Poetic+Justice+Open+Mic+Night.
Anisah Muhammad recites an original poem at Poetic Justice Open Mic Night.

Anisah Muhammad recites an original poem at Poetic Justice Open Mic Night.

Marianna Bacallao

Marianna Bacallao

Anisah Muhammad recites an original poem at Poetic Justice Open Mic Night.

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Anisah Muhammad discovered her love for writing at a young age.

When she was in middle school, she realized she was passionate about many forms of the skill, ranging from journalistic styles to fiction.  

“I guess it just naturally came out,” Muhammad said.

The first poem Muhammad ever wrote focused on identity and self love. However, her first stab at the artform disappointed her, and she was unsatisfied with the quality of her work, she said.

“The first poem that I wrote, it was trash, and I deleted it,” Muhammad said.

After a long hiatus from writing poetry she decided not to give up and started refining her skills by writing inspirational poetry.

“Just living life the best you can. Stuff like that,” she said. “I’m guessing that I may have wrote about it to inspire myself.”

At Mercer, Muhammad is a journalism major with a minor in biology on the pre-veterinary track. To keep her passion a part of her life, she joined Mercer’s spoken word collective, Point B.L.A.N.K., where she often gets opportunities to recite her original slam poetry at open mic nights.

“Poetry is just an outlet to let out your deep down thoughts, feelings,” she said.

She doesn’t like to limit herself to a particular type of poetry so all of her writing is freestyle. Incorporating different poetry techniques like rhyming and alliteration is typically a part of her art process, she said.

“It’s never a consistent style,” Muhammad said.

Currently, Muhammad is focused on performing pieces that are centered around social issues like police brutality. She has never experienced police brutality herself, but she said the thought of one of her three brothers becoming a victim of police violence inspires her to pursue writing about injustice.

When her eldest brother got arrested, her first thought was that she hoped he wouldn’t be mistreated. That was the moment she said she realized she wanted to ensure others were aware through her poetry.

“I love stepping into the shoes of other people and writing about them,” she said.

Muhammad usually writes the majority of her poetry in her bedroom, but she said ideas come to her at any moment and any place.

“I really need to start carrying pen and paper with me, so when ideas come, I can just write them down,” she said

In the future, Muhammad wants to create an interactive conglomeration of all of her writings combined in a poetry book with each piece having an accompanying original illustration.

As for spoken word, she said her goal is to create a CD that has several of her original spoken word works.

“Spoken word can’t be read,” she said.

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Mercer Artist: Anisah Muhammad