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Madison’s new Youth Poet Laureate Maliha Nu’Man gets ready to publish her second book

Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez with Maliha Nu’Man, the second Youth Poet Laureate (Photo supplied.)

Earlier last month, it was announced by Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez, the City of Madison, and the Madison Arts Commission that Maliha Nu’Man would be the second Youth Poet Laureate. 

Maliha is just going into her sophomore year at Madison West High School and already has a significant history of writing. While she started off doing lyrics and writing along to music, an interest in poetry a few years ago compelled her to look into trying it for herself. 

“Around when quarantine hit, my lyrics started becoming more like poetry. I could say them more than I could sing them,” Maliha tells Madison365. “That’s when I kind of looked into it, a lot of spoken word and listening to poetry slams and stuff like that on YouTube. That’s kind of when I started the book, as well.”

Maliha was not completely unfamiliar with poetry, but recalled finding herself seeking out more content like Voice In Power out of Philadelphia and poetry on TikTok. All of that led to the inspiration behind Maliha’s first self-published work, Photograph

“It was me discovering poetry for myself, understanding where it fits into me as a person, where it fits into my identity and all that. It was more just me experimenting with poems and experimenting with my writing style,” said Maliha, recalling her mother being proud of her work so much that they looked into self-publishing to get her work out. 

“I think with the second one, it’s definitely more of me working on myself. I’m already a poet now, it’s just like showing more of my work.”

The momentum Maliha had from the book and from her past years of writing and poetry experience led to her pursuing the Youth Poet Laureate spot. Maliha also was sure to show appreciation for her 8th grade English teacher, Ms. Kittel, who both enabled her passion for poetry in school and reached out with the opportunity. 

“I guess it was a lot about me being able to establish myself as a poet,” Maliha said. “Before it was very much just new to me, the entire art in itself. She introduced me to it which I love her for and I will forever be grateful.”

Maliha is excited to do readings and continue her journey as a poet, but most importantly as a writer and artist in general. She is looking to publish her second book, Polaroid, on July 23, and is excited to get more of her work in the hands of readers. 

“I really do want just Maliha Nu’Man to be a name in itself. I do see poetry in my future, and I think I’ll always be writing. I know that I’ll always use my notes app as just a sense of comfort for me. I don’t think it’ll go anywhere in terms of that.”