Meet Teaching Artist Moheb Soliman
Moheb Soliman is an interdisciplinary poet from Egypt and the Midwest. He has presented writing, performance, installation, and video work at diverse literary, art, and public spaces in the US and Canada with support from the Banff Centre, Pillsbury House, the Joyce Foundation, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Moheb has degrees from the New School and the University of Toronto and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was the program director for the Arab American literary journal and arts organization Mizna.
You can find a list of Moheb's current classes by visiting his artist bio page.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I am a huge planner—who tends to throw plans out at the last minute! Which is its own process of preparation. I also of course value and safeguard good discussion, informal presentations and guided practices from participants, and in-class reading and writing.
When it comes to imagining and creating classes, where do your ideas come from? What in particular inspires you?
I often wish classes could be outside, on-the-go, like a walk or a movement between spaces. This sort of inhabitation can be so productive and meditative for creative work. So when possible, I do that with classes, and when not, I infuse that sort of mindset and imaginative work with participants.
What's the ideal environment for your classroom? What atmosphere are you hoping to establish?
Intimate, open, safe, thoughtful, informal, and experimental.
Regardless of what your class is specifically focusing on, what's the main goal you have for your students?
I want to set this space and this time for participants to come and delve into the themes of the class and how they intersect with their own writing and thinking. It's about immersion and experimentation more than production and craft—the latter will lead to the former, in my view!
What are goals you have for yourself? These could be teaching goals, writing goals, career goals, community goals, etc.
I just finished my first book of poems (HOMES, Coffee House Press, ahem), and right now I honestly can't imagine a second, yet I want to pursue that very much. I have so many deep desires and dreams as far as "community" goes, but I can't even get into that . . .
What have been some of your own favorite educational experiences?
Attending the Banff Centre writing residency and other residencies; going on experiential/guided tours or walks; doing writing exchanges with other writers; generally, the more immersive and experiential sorts of learning.
To you personally, what is the most important part of the literary arts?
In a way, the not-writing and not-reading and not-art! The dwelling in experience or senses or memory or fantasy for their own sake, without rendering, and trusting that the best writing may well come out of that process. To me, a writing practice is both a central preoccupation in life and a supreme excess of life.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am so looking forward to just spending time with everyone and sharing our work and insights around the theme of this class.