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Michael Mohammed Ahmad Michael Mohammed Ahmad i(A118218 works by)
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

Writer, editor, and community arts worker in Western Sydney.

He has been the writing coordinator at Bankstown Youth Development Service and editor of Westside. He is both founder and director of Sweatshop, a literacy movement based in Western Sydney, which provides training and employment in creative and critical writing initiatives for people from culturally and liguistically diverse backgrounds. His work in community cultural development won him the Australia Council Kirk Robson Award in 2012. An account of Ahmad's work with Sweatshop was published by Omar J. Sakr in 'Literary Collective Director Michael Mohammed Ahmad'.

His debut novel, The Tribe, was published in 2014, and attempted to step beyond limited and simplistic images of Arab-Australian Muslims enforced by media reports. The novel, which Ahmad notes draws from traditional Arab oral storytelling, was adapted into a play for a single performer in 2015.

In 2017, Mohammed received a Doctorate of Creative Arts, Western Sydney University. His second novel, The Lebs, was published in February 2018.

Exhibitions

17457043

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2019 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Arts Projects For Individuals and Groups $49,920
2016 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Australia Council Literature Board Grants Literature Arts Projects For Individuals and Groups $39,000.00
2012 recipient Kirk Robson Award

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Big Black Thing : Chapter 2 Milperra : Sweatshop , 2018 15304027 2018 anthology poetry prose

'The Big Black Thing: Chapter. 2 is the second issue in a new series of prose and poetry by emerging and established writers from Indigenous, migrant and refugee backgrounds.'  (Publication summary)

2019 shortlisted Mascara Avant-garde Awards Anthology
y separately published work icon The Lebs Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2018 12178121 2018 single work novel young adult

''Bani Adam thinks he's better than us!' they say over and over until finally I shout back, 'Shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up, I have something to say!'

'They all go quiet and wait for me to explain myself, redeem myself, pull my shirt out, rejoin the pack. I hold their anticipation for three seconds, and then, while they're all ablaze, I say out loud, 'I do think I'm better.'

'Bani Adam is a student at Punchbowl Boys High School, which seems like the arse end of the earth, and the students don't seem to care. The Lebs control the school, and Bani feels at odds - a romantic in a sea of hyper-masculinity.

'Bani must come to terms with his place in a world of hostility and hopelessness - while dreaming of having so much more.'  (Publication summary)

2019 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2019 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Multicultural NSW
Bad Writer 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , October 2016; The Best Australian Essays 2017 2017; (p. 148-166)

'Two years ago the British Centre for Literary Translation invited me to Anhui Province in China to participate as a guest author in their annual translation program. I was asked to facilitate a creative writing workshop with the English-speaking participants in the program which would follow on from a workshop run by Vietnamese-Australian author of The Boat, Nam Le. For two hours I watched patiently and quietly as Nam worked with twenty aspirational writers and translators who had come to China from all over the (Western) world, including Australia, the United States, Ireland, Scotland and England. Nam wrote six random words up on a chalkboard, ‘shoes’, ‘man’, ‘mountain’, ‘love’, ‘fear’ and ‘fingers’, and then he told the participants to each write a short story or poem using these six words. I was disappointed to hear the writers in the group read back the stories they wrote, which all followed the same thread: A man wandered a mountain in a pair of shoes, searching for love and afraid he would find it. It did not occur to even one of them that a mountain could be in love with a man or a shoe could be afraid of a finger, or more importantly, that the mountain, the man, the shoes and the finger could all have a specific identity. After all, we were in view of China’s Sacred Yellow Mountain and with so much diversity in the room, participants had dirt on their shoes and under their fingernails from places no one else in the group could have imagined. It was at this point that I realised the universality of bad writing: the bad writing that this international collective of writers produced was no different from the bad writing I had dealt with as a writer, editor, publisher and teacher in Western Sydney for over fifteen years.' (Introduction)

2017 shortlisted The Woollahra Digital Literary Award Non-Fiction
Last amended 9 Oct 2019 11:03:58
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