Representation on the Covers

Hello Poetteers,

My poetry represents me and my books represent the poems it holds. It was obvious to put myself on the cover of my first book. I regret not having a muslim girl on the cover of Her Olives but I love the cover enough to not want to change it. I didn't think of representation until I was about to publish Her Treasures and Her Durian. It was an effortless and subconscious choice. My creativity reflects me. With self publishing there isn't any gatekeeping.

I spent my childhood buried in books. I never saw myself in them. Whether it was a character or the cover. The first time I saw a muslim girl on the cover was 'Does My Head Look Big In This' by Randa Abdel-Fattah. YA books are changing. It took about 10 years. There was a push for diverse stories and own voices. Within my own reading a muslim girl didn't come up again until 'Saints and Misfits' by S.K. Ali.

Are poetry books making that change too? It feels like a trick question. Faces aren't popular on poetry book covers. In the few I found only a couple were of muslim girls. For example: 'Letters to My Younger Self' by Sana Abuleil. The themes and topics in poetry are diverse. For a while the only poetry books I saw were about romance, heartbreak and self love. Eventually I found the poetry books that cover the topics about faith and cultural identity. Those stories are vulnerable and powerful. it's what we need.

Have you found/read diverse stories? What changes have you noticed in the book community?

Stay inspired,