The Talent Whisperer

WHAT I DO

As an editor, friend, and educator, I have been identifying and amplifying talent across multiple genres for the past twelve years. Working in an intuitive way, I empower creative people by shining a light on the most original, resonant and innovative elements of their work. This new clarity melts worry and spurs talented people to take concrete next steps. I’d love to hear about your project. Write me at safia.jama(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

TESTIMONIALS

“I had the chance to get to know Safia through participating in the Artist Peer Circle group for Queens Council on the Arts and in getting to know her, I have appreciated her openness and calm, welcoming spirit. She makes you feel at ease and encourages you as a writer while still providing helpful advice to push your work forward. You cannot help but be inspired by her and her writing. I believe her experiences as a teacher, professor, editor, Cave Canem fellow and creative writer give her a well-rounded knowledge and different angles from which to approach emerging artists and assist them in the development of their craft.” 

–Sherese Francis, author of the chapbook Lucy’s Bone Scrolls (Three-Legged Elephant Press 2017)

“Early in my process to write a family memoir that I hoped would bend the outlines of the genre, I shared my work with Safia Jama. I feared a detached editorial eye that wanted to use old forms to red pencil my work but wanted genuine feedback from a gifted reader.   Her openness, her insights, and her own creative work emboldened me to make her a first reader of a first draft. Her thoughtful response, equally comprised of enthusiasm and incisive inquiry, helped me reread, rethink, and revise.   Safia is a strong literary ally for a work-in-progress. I note her role in the acknowledgements of the published work, Frayed Lives: A Family Memoir Stitched Into Holocaust History.”

–Debra Michlewitz

“I took a creative writing class at FIT and Safia was my eccentric professor.  We were encouraged to share our free-writes and formal writing assignments.  Safia did an incredible job with a class that was new to creative writing.. She took a room full of fashion students, put us all in a circle, and made us think in a different way than we were used to as business or fine art majors. I gained a lot of confidence in my writing throughout that semester thanks to Safia’s constant encouragement, and never ending excuses for us to write creatively. I use the skills I practiced then in my job now as a freelance Social Media Coordinator at W Magazine.”

–Jenny Oliver, Freelance Social Media Coordinator, W Magazine, New York, NY

“Every time I have a conversation with Safia, she helps me get unblocked from whatever fear or resistance is holding me back at that particular moment. Without pressure or agenda, she helps me to unlock my own tangle of patterns, and to reconnect with my creative autonomy, curiosity and energy. I feel completely comfortable and safe with her, knowing that she comes from a place of compassion without judgment, and that she understands the creative struggle because she’s been there herself. Safia is wise and gentle in her approach, yet she pushes me to stretch beyond my fears and reclaim my power. I would recommend her to anyone seeking guidance and support with their creative process!”  — Anna Holtzman, filmmaker and life coach

ABOUT ME

I’m a Cave Canem graduate fellow and my poetry was selected by Patricia Smith for the forthcoming “Precarious Work” edition of Women’s Studies Quarterly (December 2017). I recently was pleased to learn that my book-length manuscript was a semi-finalist for the Pleiades Press Editors Prize for Poetry.  I’m excited to share some more poems soon by way of BOMB Online. My reviews and essays live at NPR’s Schoolbook, the Poetry Foundation blog, and Boston Review. I have served on the editorial boards of Apogee Journal, Epiphany Magazine, and the Brooklyn Arts Council Grants Panel.