My current project is a hybrid work: a novel-in-verse that features several poems connected by a narrative through-line. To me, as a former journalist and first-generation immigrant, writing is interrogation, so it often involves asking questions and excavating answers from unlikely sources. Often, because I have no recollection of my birthplace, the source is my own parents, hardworking immigrants from Pakistan who hoped to give their children an American education. My work, therefore, explores the themes of imperialistic erasure, immigrant and diaspora identity, and inherited and generational trauma, as well as grief, death, and friendship. It also often explores my identity as a Muslim, and all the complicated nuances and misconceptions of that identity in the Deep South, where I’ve lived for much of my life. By being unflinchingly raw on the page, I hope that my writing serves as a bridge— a connection to people who might otherwise resist connection.