Photo of Azami Aman courtesy of loosecornrows.com.

Poet and Portland State University professor Azami Aman attended a Zoom meeting on Nov. 18 with the PCC QUEST center. Aman talked about their life by poem and read some of their works to the attendees.

Aman said that their poems all came from their personal experiences and from their childhood. They are currently working on a piece about their mom and how she found her biological family and was raised by her grandmother and her twin sister.

“They are a family friend of our coordinator. They were excited to join in today and inspire our students,” said Desire Recarte, QUEST Center member.

Azami was adopted when they were a baby and grew up with a loving family. When they came out as nonbinary and as part of the LGBTQ+ community, their family accepted them and still loved them for who they are.

Aman was raised in a Catholic household and maintained their faith as they grew up. In one of their poems, they talk about being Catholic and the experience of being baptized. On Aman’s website, Loose Cornrows they talk about their philosophies on writing.

“What I would say for young writers is read a lot, as no one told me that. I was already reading but I was reading deep into S. E. Hinton who wrote The Outsiders. I read all of her work throughout high school. She dealt off the street in a way, now that I think about it. I was really drawn to that, like gangs. But I didn’t read a lot within my culture, like a lot of Black writers, that came to me later on. Really read more than what you write and the biggest advice I got was don’t think your way into your writing. Just write your way into your thinking,” said Aman, the speaker and founder of Loose Cornrows.

Attendees of the poetry session enjoyed Azami’s presentation. The people who attended found themselves in the poems and enjoyed them even more. Azami put their emotions into their work and sought to tell their story in an honest yet capturing way.

“Azami is amazing and they really captured my attention. My favorite poem was when they were talking about their time in the Catholic church. I’m a Catholic myself and it’s cool to see a different point of view of the church. I also love how easy and simple their website is. You can not only look at Azami’s work but other poets as well,” said an attendee of the event who wished to withhold their name.

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