Bushra Rehman

Award-winning Novelist & Poet

Readings &
Lecture Topics
  • Two Truths and a Lie: Memoir & Autobiographical Fiction 
  • An Evening with Bushra Rehman


“Rehman’s poems are about home–the ones we inherit, flee, the homes we lose and still carry, and the homes we become for each other.” —Kamilah Aisha Moon

“An unforgettable voice that moves you from the start.” —People Magazine

“Stunningly beautiful.” —The New York Times Book Review

Bushra Rehman grew up in a tight-knit religious community in Queens surrounding one of the first Sunni masjids built in NYC. As a writer, teaching artist and cultural activist, her connection with audiences comes from decades of sharing her distinct brand of storytelling and political dialogue in community gatherings, at theaters, and in universities.

Rehman’s first work of fiction, Corona (Sibling Rivaly Press, 2013), a dark comedy about being Muslim American was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of its favorite books about NYC. Her first collection of poems, Marianna’s Beauty Salon (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018) was described by Joseph O. Legaspi, co-founder of Kundiman, as a “love poem for Muslim girls, Queens, and immigrants making sense of their foreign home–and surviving.”

Most recently, Rehman published Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion (Macmillan, 2022), which was long-listed for a Lambda Literary Award. A New York Times and New Yorker Editor’s Choice and a Best Book of the Year from NPR, Electric Literature, and Buzzfeed, Roses is a modern classic about what it means to be Muslim and queer in a Pakistani-American community.

Of Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion, the New York Times wrote: “Rehman evokes time and place like a poet, with descriptions both precise and lyrical, making the streets of this working-class neighborhood come alive on the page… Where a lesser book might have stooped to stereotypes about Muslims or immigrants, Rehman shows readers the complexities within Razia’s community. Individuals are allowed to be surprising, even to themselves, in this deft and empathetic novel.”

In collaboration with writer Daisy Hernández, Rehman coedited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism (Seal Press, 2002 & Hachette 2019). The landmark text offers gripping portraits of American life as seen through the eyes of young women of color. The anthology was chosen by Ms. Magazine as one of the “100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time” by Vibe magazine as one of “13 Books Every Mujerista and Womanist should read” and by Bustle as one of the “18 Books Every White Ally Should Read.” Rebecca Walker described Colonize This! “a must for young women of color searching for themselves within contemporary feminist/womanist discourse, and anyone else who wants to get down with the fierceness of fly, intellectual divas of color.”

Rehman has been a teaching artist for over twenty years with organizations including: Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Urban Word NYC, Kundiman and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She is creator and facilitator of the popular community writing workshop Two Truths and a Lie: Writing Memoir and Autobiographical Fiction, a class for queer BIPOC writers and allies.

Short Bio

Rehman’s dark comedy, Corona, was chosen by the NY Public Library as one of its favorite books  about NYC. She is co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and author of the collection of poetry Marianna’s Beauty Salon, described by Joseph O. Legaspi as “a love poem for Muslim girls, Queens, and immigrants making sense of their foreign home–and surviving.” Her new novel, Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion, is a modern classic about what it means to be Muslim and queer in a Pakistani-American community was chosen as a Best Book and Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Good Morning America, Goodreads,  The Chicago Review, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, Lambda Literary, BookRiot, PopSugar, The AV Club, E! News, Ms. Magazine and more.

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