Tarleton State University professor Dr. Moumin Quazi is the son of an Indian/Pakistani immigrant who recently donated one of his signed books, Migratory Words, to the Stephenville Public Library.
His book is a collection of short stories and poems about his experiences as a “hybrid person,” which is how he refers to himself.
“Words migrate from the speaker to the listener, or writer to readers. The words are migrating from my heart to your soul,” Quazi said about his book.
The book consists of short snippets of thought, playing with the idea of migrations. Quazi said having his unique experience helped him have a different take on what it is to be American. He is an English professor at Tarleton and has many years of experience editing journals, books, and other works all done by other people.
When asked why he decided to publish a book of his own he said, “I knew that one day these stories and poems would have their own journey. It’s a lifelong process that finally culminated in this book. Almost everything has been published elsewhere and now they’re in one volume.”
The book was published in September 2016, but it took a lifetime of experiences to get to that point. Quazi decided to donate a copy to the public library for many reasons.
“I’ve been a staunch advocate of literacy and libraries, so everywhere I go I’ve always given to or helped out the local library and literacy effort,” he said. “I wanted to make sure the Stephenville library, of all places, had a signed copy in it, since that’s my home library.”
Quazi’s favorite poem in the book is titled “Migrant Birds.” It was his first poem published in a book, called Is This Forever, or What?
It’s even included in an eighth grade textbook in the Chicago area. His favorite story in the book is titled “Three Favorite Words.” The story is about his father, brother, and himself dealing with the recent passing of his stepmother and their 35 year relationship.
“It’s a long relationship to lose, but it shows how people cope with loss, sometimes in a humorous and poignant way,” Quazi said.
A book like this is unusual to be published. It’s multi-genre, meaning that there are poems and prose stories contained in one book. Despite its unusual nature, there has been much positive feedback about the book as a whole.
“Lots of people like this idea,” Quazi noted. “One day you can read a poem, and the next a story. Then back to a poem. It’s short so you can read it all in one sitting, or take a couple of weeks to meander through.”
If you are interested in reading these poems and stories for yourself, go to the Stephenville Public Library and check out Migratory Words by Moumin Quazi.