Poems for Malala Yousafzai

FutureCycle Press, a nonprofit publisher of poetry and flash fiction, published its first Good Works project, Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai, on October 9, the one-year anniversary of Malala’s shooting by the Taliban for speaking out for the right of girls to pursue an education. Edited by Joseph Hutchison and Andrea L. Watson, women and men all over the world contributed work for this anthology, and all profits from its sale will be donated to the Malala Fund.

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Since the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai has been an outspoken advocate for the right of girls in her Swat Valley region of Pakistan to attend school. Since the 2012 shooting, intended by the Taliban to silence her, Malala has emerged as a powerful leader and voice for girls and women worldwide. On her sixteenth birthday, this past July 12—declared Malala Day by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—Malala addressed the United Nations to call for the support of all governments to help girls and women flourish. One of her statements has become a rallying cry, bringing hope to all: “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

Malala was the odds-on favorite to receive the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. (The prize was instead awarded to the international chemical weapons watchdog OPCW, which is helping eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.) She has received more prestigious international awards than can be counted on two hands; a few from just this year are a Clinton Global Citizen Award (Clinton Foundation), Harvard Foundation’s Peter Gomes Humanitarian Award (Harvard University), and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (European Parliament). In 2012, she was runner-up for Time‘s Person of the Year and was included on the magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People.in the World.

In trying to silence Malala, the Taliban managed to ensure she will have a global microphone and the voices and dollars of millions advocating for the empowerment of women all over the world.

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Those poets who contributed work to the Malala anthology believe in the power of words to make a difference. “With the Good Works projects, I want to provide a way for poets and writers to lend their voices but also help contribute monetarily to causes they care about,” says Diane Kistner, Director of FutureCycle Press and the mastermind behind the projects. “With an issue-oriented anthology likeMalala, they have a place to submit their work for publication, but they also know that we are dedicating all profits from sales to a related worthy cause.”

The press’s next Good Works project, Kistner notes, is Homeland: Writings About Homelessness.As with Malala for education, FutureCycle Press will donate all proceeds fromHomeland to help alleviate homelessness. “To raise awareness and reach a larger audience,” Kistner adds, “we plan to make free PDFs of all of the anthologies available on the Good Works tab of our web site as they are published. Deadlines and submission guidelines for open projects are also on this tab.”

The PDF for Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai is now on the Good Works tab at www.futurecycle.org. The paperback and Kindle editions can be found on the Catalog tab and worldwide on Amazon.com. Those who purchase a paperback copy can get the Kindle edition for 99 cents through Amazon’s new Matchbook program, and the book can also be borrowed or lent. “However they choose to get a copy, I hope everyone will read this book,” Kistner says. “It’s such a beautiful and moving outpouring of love for Malala.”

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