Meet Tumkeen!

I am a published author and poet. I am also a contributing writer for Detroit Mom and Lansing Mom. I live in Michigan, USA with my husband and children. My hobbies include watching sunrises, spending time with my family, and traveling.

Since I could remember, I have always wanted to be a writer. I used to write poems for my siblings on their birthdays or leave some on my Dad’s desk. I pursued it in high school and even applied for a competitive creative writing program at college. I got in but life took me in a different direction.

Soon, I found myself following the natural course of my life… marriage then children. And in taking care of one kid after another, I found myself writing less and less and seeming further and further away from ever achieving my dream of becoming a writer. After all, when would I ever get the chance? Who would want to read what I had to say? No… it just wasn’t meant for me. I wrote a poem here or there on Facebook and when some of my friends and family would comment on it, for a brief moment, I was that same girl with the same dream again. But it was short-lived for me, that was as good as it was going to be.

Fast forward to three years ago, circumstances suddenly forced me onto a median on the road of life. Analyzing what I had done with my life so far; and looking to the future, curious about what was to come.

As I scrolled down my Facebook feed one spring day,  I came across a call for contributing writers for Detroit Mom. I mulled for weeks about just sending something/anything… to revive a dream from my yesteryears. But fear of rejection and doubt overcame that desire and I did not avail the opportunity. Simply telling my wanting heart “It’s not the right time… no one will want to hear about what you have to say… It’s not meant to be.” But as destiny often plays out, I found myself scrolling down to find Detroit Mom’s same search exactly one year later. This time, I was not going to let regret gnaw at my heart anymore. I wrote a piece and sent it to them. I took a chance and that was good enough of a victory. Little did I imagine that weeks later I would open an email that would say “Congratulations”. I remember my eyes filled with tears, my heart full of gratitude, and my mind in disbelief. “What?! I’m in?!” 

That was the first step towards finding my written voice again, and the more I used that voice the more I felt comfortable hearing it. Sometimes the first step is the hardest, but once you take it you realize it was what was missing all along.  Since then, I have written numerous posts for Detroit Mom. I am also a contributing writer for Lansing Mom. Many of my pieces have been shared on other platforms, including “Love What Matters”.

This past year my poems have been published in the online publication, Rather Quiet. I was a guest speaker for the Muslimah Wordsmiths Conference 2020, presenting a seminar on “Healing Through Writing”. In December of 2020, two of my pieces were published in the Muslimah Writers’ Anthology called “Ramadhan in Isolation”. And now, under the guidance of the brilliant Na’ima B Robert, I am ready to launch my debut book “Breathe – Reflections and Poetry from the 2020 Lockdown” next month.

My writings tend to center around faith, family, nature, and mental health. And particularly about healing. There’s a reason why I often describe my literary journey as “I am writing to heal, and healing to write”. It’s a reminder of the hurdles I’ve had to cross to get here, and of the hurdles I must choose to overcome, in order to go further ahead. I am grateful of Allah’s continuous blessings and bounties, and never want to take any of these moments for granted.

Thank you friends, for accompanying me on this journey… what a ride it’s been. Now, buckle up and get ready, something tells me this is just the beginning!!!

Peace & Blessings to you,