Because we are community-based and not a traditional press, JARA does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. But we encourage you, in the spirit of collectivity and DIY publishing, to start your own presses, make your own chapbooks, and send us a link; we want to constellate! Stay tuned for more info on our new email address, and visit our blog pages here to find out what’s new and to sign up to get posts emailed directly to you. We hope to see you around town, online, or at an event soon. Here is some more about who we are:
Shamma Al Bastaki
Shamma Al Bastaki is a poet and artist from Dubai who graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a double major in Sociology & Public Policy and Literature & Creative Writing. She has served as an Ambassador for the Louvre Abu Dhabi since 2015 and was part of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship. Shamma is the 2019 winner of the ADMAF Creativity Award for her ethno-poetry collection House to House |بيت لبيت’, an excerpt of which was published in the Asymptote Journal and taught in universities and schools in Japan, the US, and the UAE. As a poet, she has been commissioned by Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE Unlimited, Mubadala, and the Minister of Tolerance, and has had a special feature on CNN. She has performed her work on various local and international events and served on the curatorial committee of Hekayah for two years. Shamma is co-founder of JARA Collective, a chapbook poetry press; a founding member of Untitled Chapters, a literary group for women writers; and an inaugural member of the Cultural Office Women’s Creative Network launched by H.H. Sheikha Manal Bint Monammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum. With her research on hydrophobic sand, she was the first Emirati to win an award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, California. She recently joined Qasr Al Hosn–DCT as an Education Specialist.
Sarah Almehairi was born in Abu Dhabi in 1998, where she currently lives and works. She received her BA in Art and Art History from New York University of Abu Dhabi (UAE). Almehairi’s overarching body of work unfolds a discourse on themes of identity, language, materiality and memory through the intuitive examination of narrative and abstraction. By engaging with geometric shape and form, she extracts and defines a structural language within the restricted, muted palette her works reside in. Working primarily with investigative range of media, she explores the push and pull of material to evoke a story that both conceals and reveals. She has participated in various group exhibitions, including Intimate Dimensions, Hafez Gallery, Jeddah, (2020), The Youth Takeover, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, (2019), and the 35th Annual Emirates Fine Art Society Exhibition, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, (2018). Her first solo show, Between, was hosted by Carbon 12 Gallery, Dubai, (2019). Almehairi is also part of the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship’s (SEAF) 7th Cohort (2019-2020), an inaugural member of the Cultural Office Women’s Creative Network launched by H.H. Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, creator of the Zoom Artist Talks series, and co-founder of JARA Collective.
Based in the UAE and Vermont, USA, Jill Magi works in text, image, and textile. The author of six books of poetry and numerous handmade books housed in the University at Buffalo Poetry Collection, Jill ran Sona Books for ten years, publishing chapbooks of experimental works that she described as “risky, quiet, and community-based.” In 2010 she was recognized by Poets & Writers magazine as one of the 50 most inspiring authors in the world. She has had residencies with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center, and has taught for more than twenty years at research universities, liberal arts colleges, in MFA and BFA programs, and in community-based adult literacy programs. Jill has had solo exhibitions of visual work at the NYUAD Project Space Gallery, Tashkeel, and Grey Noise, and is a co-founder of JARA Collective. Visit her web-site here.