Lover of the mystical, she dances with your energy and turns you into a poem. You’ll find her slaying cases at courts in the morning and wrapped in poems at night. She merges emotion with logic as words are everywhere for her. A poet in touch with many spirits, she sought to outpour all her heightened emotions. Farah AlWugayan is known for her instant poetry and has taken up the challenge of writing instant poems in many events that have gained success over the past five years.
She published her first poetry book “hi, i’ll love you anyway” in March 2017.
Every poem she writes translates a part of her soul. She comes alive with words and believes in the unity that comes with language. Farah immensely believes that she writes because love is the only universal truth. She hopes her poetry becomes the tool that encourages everyone to stand, feel and simply become their truth.
During the 2018’s summer, Farah was a participant in Bowery Poetry in New York where she struck her audience with a performing piece. She uses performance to vocalise the words that reside in her heart.
Farah aims to heal and spread awareness through her words. With her great mechanism, she also aims to create a world of oneness where individuals would feel less alone.
• When did you first fall in love with poetry?
Ever since I was very young, I witnessed my mother writing poetry in Arabic and extending her love by reading the poem out loud to us. Sometimes she’d turn the poem into a song and sing it to my father. It would engulf me in the warmth of her love and the words. As well my grandmother Maryam (rest be upon her soul), even though she did not read or write, would recite poetry in Arabic. I remember not fully understanding the words, however, her powerful recitation, that too with a robust Kuwaiti accent, would allow her verses to resonate effortlessly. Ever since, I have been in awe of the magic of words, tones, and storytelling.
• When did you start writing your pieces?
I started writing around the age of 13. Writing for me began initially as an attempt to create characters; I would spend my time making up characters in my head and sketching them and giving them life. Eventually, each of the characters had their own story to tell, and sometimes their stories intertwined. I later realized that the dialogues in the stories were very poetic, and instantaneously the flight of poetry took off. My first piece was five pages long, and I clearly remember that my mother wept as she read it; I was not a very talkative child, and through my poetry, she had a sneak peek into my deepest thoughts. Seeing her moved by my words was a moment so profound and touching; it motivated me to explore words and literature further.
• What was the first poem you read that inspired you?
I pulled out a Khalil Gibran book from the Arabic library in school and kept it with me for an entire year, and as I read it over and over again, it seemed to captivate me each time. What’s astonishing about Gibran’s writings is how his poetry tends to evoke the same feelings it emitted from the very first read; purposefully proving the power of words, expression, form, and structure. Years later, I found the same book in a used bookstore; I now have it in my library.
• How did poetry change how you view things in your life?
Over the years, I have come to realize that I’m very metaphorical, and I use much imagery in my conversations. I tend to go through my reality poetically. I genuinely believe that it is the small and most unnoticed things that exist in our day to day lives, and in the dynamics of our relationships, that hold most power and significance. I am forever observing the mundane, for example, how my friend brushes her teeth twice in the morning. It truly is worthy of being noticed, in my view. It is these very mundane moments that make up the significant elements in our stories. Poetry is my form of communicating and collecting these very moments that we generally neglect and give them due weight and recognition. Poetry makes me feel like I’m unifying the emotional journeys, I feel accomplished when I am told that my poem meant something special to someone or that my words were able to resonate something they didn’t know how to express. I aspire to heal with the collective through my storytelling and words. I want to cultivate a safe space for people to feel comfortable and invited to validate and to feel their feelings and emotions fully.
• When was your first on-stage performance, and how did that make you feel? In 2015 in Harlem, New York. It made me feel excited, alive and vulnerable. After that, my path expanded from being just a visual artist and evolved into a performance poet.
• What projects have you worked on, and what is in store for Farah AlWugayan in 2020? I published my first book in 2017, “hi, I’ll love you anyway,” and I have been performing on different stages around the world. I also released an audio-visual poem meshing visuals and performance poetry in 2018, “Psychosis”. I am currently working on more videos, and in 2020 I will be venturing onto different performance stages worldwide. A little disclosure: I have been pouring out poetry, working on a manuscript, but that’s for a secret future reveal.
• Tell us about your personal style: how would you describe it? My style is a culmination of my growth. In my early years, I leaned more towards a grungier side; as I grew older, my style evolved just as my personality did. The evolution, but of course, covers the various phases of my life. I am prone to opt from neutral colors, and mixed prints, to dark and grungy, to the integration of it all. What I wear depends on my mood; some days I want to express how mellow I feel, and I will pull out the melancholic neutrals, and on other days, when I’m hyped and excited, I will most definitely pull out bright colors to further amplify my fire feels. I love brands with a sense of edge and experiment, but mainly I like pieces that speak out to me, pieces unique in their making, and that seem to me like they were designed for the experience of my being. During my travels, I find myself hunting for pieces from local brands.