Community Collection 31: WINGS with Ibtisam Barakat

Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!
Remember: The Community Collections are open indefinitely, so you can visit each post at your leisure to add your poem!


Today’s Guest…

is an international speaker, author, poet, translator, artist, and educator whose work focuses on social justice and “restoring joy.” Please welcome … 


Photo by Michael J. Cooney




My wings are made of words and poems. 
What are your wings made of? In other words, what helps you to fly above adversity and gives you perspective?



1. Click the pink + circle on the bottom right.
2. Type in your title and copy in your poem
3. Don’t forget to include your name/copyright (e.g., (c) 2018 Gladys Poet)!
4. To make it stick, click on the background pic OUTSIDE the white area of your post.
5. Use the tools on the bottom of your post to easily upload images.
6. Scroll to read and comment on others’ work!

If you have any trouble posting your poem, you may email it to me at and I will post it for you!

Made with Padlet


Ibtisam Barakat (pronunciation) (Arabic spelling: ابتسام بركات ) is an award-winning Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist, and educator. She was born in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, grew up in Ramallah, Palestine, and came to the US for an internship at The Nation magazine in New York City. She holds two Masters degrees and has taught Language Ethics at Stephens College. She authors in both English and Arabic. Her work centers on healing social injustices, especially in the lives of young people. Her writings exist in numerous translations. 

From the author’s website: Via the poetry and prose of two languages, story and art, Ibtisam aims to contribute continually toward the freedom of all peoples and persons, the healing of all injustices especially in the lives of young people, and the restoration of joy in existence, hope in the future, and faith in humanity’s highest aspirations in itself.

Ibtisam is also the founder of the WRITE YOUR LIFE seminars, a creative-expression forum through which people from various age groups and backgrounds contribute to writing a more collective history by sharing personal narratives.

Discover more about the author and her books at



Ibtisam’s TEDx talk about her love for language.



“When a war ends it does not go away,” my mother says.”It hides inside us . . . Just forget “
But I do not want to do what Mother says . . . I want to remember.

In this groundbreaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. With candor and courage, she stitches together memories of her childhood: fear and confusion as bombs explode near her home and she is separated from her family; the harshness of life in the Middle East as a Palestinian refugee; her unexpected joy when she discovers Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. This is the beginning of her passionate connection to words, and as language becomes her refuge, allowing her to piece together the fragments of her world, it becomes her true home.

Transcending the particulars of politics, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood is an illuminating and timely book that provides a telling glimpse into a part of the Middle East that has become an increasingly important part of the puzzle of world peace.

Winner of the Arab American National Museum Book Award for Children’s/YA Literature (from


Picking up where Tasting the Sky left off, Balcony on the Moon follows Ibtisam Barakat through her childhood and adolescence in Palestine from 1972-1981 and chronicles her desire to be a writer.

The young Ibtisam finds inspiration through writing letters to pen pals and from an adult who encourages her to keep at it, but the most surprising turn of all for Ibtisam happens when her mother decides that she would like to seek out an education, too. This memoir is a touching, at times funny, and enlightening look at the not often depicted daily life in a politically tumultuous area. (from

Don’t miss a prompt! Save this calendar to your desktop.


Check out the poetry video library!
“The Story of My People” copyright © by Ibtisam Barakat.
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Butterflies and Birds by Pixabay, both via Pexels (no attribution required).  

You may also like...


  1. What a fabulous post and ending to our poetry month collection. I typically read the day’s post in the morning and then keep the prompt in my pocket all day during work…and try to draft in the afternoon/evening. This one is a beauty. Thank you for stopping by today. I look forward to everyone’s writing from this prompt.

  2. So much inspiration in one place; I need more time to take it all in! I look forward to reading the posts I’ve missed during the coming month. Thank you again, Renée, for coordinating and hosting this event. And thank you to the poets who shared their work and provided prompts. My poetry cup runneth over!

  3. I’m deeply moved by your poem here and your Ted-x talk. I loved your take on solutions–how refreshing. I look forward to reading some of your books and more of your poetry. Thank you Ibtisam, and thank you Renée for inviting Ibitisam. Thank you also Renée for this rich cornucopia of poets and prompts this month!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *