Rocking a Nadia Nadim jersey in Rockport, MA. Photo by Gretchen Carlson 2018

Seelai Karzai is a poet and educator who grew up on onions, turmeric, curry, and oil in a tiny apartment in Queens, New York. As an undergrad, she studied Shakespeare and Classics, but after graduating, took a few different turns by working at a publishing house, non-profit organizations, and an education technology startup.

Performing at a Muslim Writers Collective Open Mic in NYC. Photo Credit: Farhat Sikder 2014

She realized her passion for helping people and her community when she began to record her history in poems. She often draws on her lived experiences as a 1.5 generation Afghan woman in her writing.

Seelai has performed her creative work with the Afghan American Artists and Writers Association as well as the Muslim Writers Collective. And when she’s not protesting against the police state or eating, you can usually find her tweeting or exploring pastry shops.

A few of Seelai’s favorite poetry books. Photo Credit: Seelai Karzai 2018