Hanan Issa

Hanan Issa is a mixed-race poet from Wales. She has been featured on both ITV Wales and BBC Radio Wales and worked in partnership with National Museum Wales, Artes Mundi, Swansea Fringe, and Seren Books. Her work has been published in Banat Collective, Poetry Wales, sister-hood magazine and MuslimGirl.com, among other places. Her winning monologue was featured at Bush Theatre’s Hijabi Monologues. Hanan is the co-founder of Cardiff's first BAME open mic series 'Where I'm Coming From'. She is also one of the 2018 Hay Festival Writers at Work. Her debut poetry pamphlet will be published by Burning Eye Books in October 2019.

Hanan Issa

Jaffrin Khan


Another Place »

A digital installation of commissioned poems on artefacts from MUSA’s Amerindian collection

Thu 7 March - Sun 10 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer


Fairouz and French toast

You always write my name in barbecue sauce on the plate
And now I can’t hear a Fairouz song without seeing
your beautiful back flipping egg-soaked bread, pouring my coffee.
She’s singing about Beirut: She tastes like fire and smoke.
I chew the warm soggy bread, the salty toast and sweet sauce.
You hum along with her: You are mine, you are mine.

The coffee tastes strong, a bit ashy. I picture the fire
and smoke of all the places where they love Fairouz.
‘Another piece?’ You take my plate and replenish my name.
The coffee leaves debris on my tongue. I want to hold it all -
the breakfast, the music, your back. Even the coffee.
Please, don’t stop humming: You are mine, you are mine.


Hanan Issa