A Somali-born Canadian Muslim has won a major prize for faith-based writing.
Rowda Mohamud won the inaugural Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing last month for her collection “Please Find Yourself a Space”, a collection of poetry reflecting her experience of faith in Islam, racism, Islamophobia and identity as a Muslim woman in Canada.
The Muslim poet received her $10,000 prize at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum on October 30.
In an interview with CBC, Rowda said her grandmother has inspired her to develop her love of language.
“I learned about the beauty of language, just the ability to move people to goodness, to compassion, just with words,” she said.
“She was someone who didn’t actually learn to read or write until her 50s. But yet she just had this amazing connection with language. She is such an inspiration to me.”
The literary prize is awarded to short story and poetry writers who focus on the theme of religious faith in Canada.
The prize is founded by the think tank Cardus, which is “dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture.”