The Power of Fiction: Fida Islaih on Ellen Hopkins

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Welcome back to The Power of Fiction!  So far, we have heard from actress and cosplayer Sinead Atkinson regarding her lifelong connection to Peter Pan and from artist and blogger Fox, who shared her experience with finding strength in superheroes. This week we will be hearing from poet (and poetry editor!) Fida Islaih on finding herself in characters and making a connection with fiction through narrative verse. 

How Fiction Impacts Me
by Fida Islaih

I have always loved to write. I started out with short stories but all my characters were white non-Muslims. Eventually, I stopped because the stories didn’t feel like mine. I felt like someone else writing someone else’s story. Being an avid reader I always looked for books that interested me or somewhat represented me. The first book I found that I saw myself in was “Does My Head Look Big In This”. After reading it I wrote my own story about wearing the headscarf. But after that story, I didn’t know what else to write.

I felt more like myself in writing poetry about my experiences. That is when I discovered novels in verse. There weren’t known yet and Ellen Hopkins was the only author I read. It wasn’t the topics I was into but I loved the style.

I was busy with school so I took a break from writing long form but after taking a creative writing class I got back into it and write my first novel in verse. Being involved in the book community I heard about self-publishing and it took priority in my writing career. I’m a published author of several poetry collections. I don’t know if my novels will ever see the light of day but I will continue to write them.

Fida Islaih is a poet and poetry editor. She is the self-published author of several poetry collections including Hugs & Kisses and Blossoming Heart. Fida is the host of Poetteer Chat, which occurs each Wednesday at 7PM EST on Twitter. You can find her on Twitter at @PoetFida or on Instagram @poetfida. She keeps a blog at I cannot thank Fida enough for sharing her experience and her connection with fictional characters and worlds. 

The Power of Fiction is a guest blog series running alongside promotions for Fictitious, Lexi Vranick's fourth self-published title and second collection of poetry. Views of guest bloggers do not necessarily reflect Lexi Vranick's views. 

Each post will conclude with new information about Fictitious, which will be available on Amazon on April 24, 2018. This week, I would like to share an exclusive preview poem from the collection. I hope you enjoy like father.; Can you tell what fictional world this piece is about? Take your guess in the comments below! And please feel free to add Fictitious to your to-read shelf on Goodreads. If you are interested in becoming an early reviewer for Fictitious, please fill out this application.

like father.

she opened the earth for him,
helped him climb inside and closed the door
so he could find – peace

was never in her blood, but with
his spread over her hands she closed her eyes
and prayed – alone

again, without him now, she
turned a cross into a monument and gave him
to the sky – left

with scars on her knuckles
and an aching heart, swollen with the love
she didn’t – know

he loved her, without the
words to say, the words that crashed into her
teeth and begged her

(not to) stay.