Indiana Poetry Book About Inequality & Poverty Adds Zest to State Poetry Scene

The new poetry book, titled ‘Acres of Shadow’, serves as a startling wake-up call to readers about the levels of entrenched poverty and suffering that exist in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

More details can be found at

The book’s release comes with the annual census figures, which reveal that this year there are over 37.2 million Americans living in poverty. These census findings also showcase that the number of Americans who are below the poverty line increases every year. And, with the dramatic rise in inflation witnessed in the first quarter of 2022, it is projected that these numbers are set to balloon.

As both a poet and an alum of Earlham College and Indiana University who studied nonprofit management and the social sciences with a focus on poverty theory and wrote a thesis on “The Culture of Poverty,” Aisha Tariqa states that there is a class of generationally and chronically impoverished Americans who harbor great pain but also the enmity of American society – namely, the homeless.

As such, she hopes that her Indiana poetry book, ‘Acres of Shadow’ will highlight the plights of what some sociologists coin “the undeserving poor” and alter people’s perception of the impoverished.

Drawing from the writer’s own personal experiences with homelessness and poverty, the book is enriched by her lyrical, moving prose and strong socio-political position. As Aisha Tariqa attests, most destitute people in America were simply dealt a bad hand in life, born into poverty or without a safety net.

Her heartfelt and passionate position is depicted in forceful terms that show how the scant absence of money, which she calls the country’s lifeblood, inflicts those affected by it with years, and sometimes, a lifetime of undeviating pain. More of her sterling phrasing is on display in the following extract from one of her new book’s featured Indiana poems, called ‘On Homelessness’.

On Homelessness

“The question mark back of the bewildered disturbs any present moment expectations of joy

An outstretched hand for giving, have I

I have nothing myself

But these solitary moments

They are all that I own

They, the men and women of ill

Carry alongside the turbulence of their lives

A gait that is wafting just above the slight touch of concrete

The heaviness of their footsteps

I aim to listen to their breathing

Their labored breathing

Oh, the journeys they carry upon their souls

The weight of their moments

The reds of their eyes

The smiles remaining several decades behind

It is the time that has carried them

To this place of solitude

And solidarity with the weight of the Earth

Standing steadily upon the length of their spines”

Interested readers can find more moving extracts like this one on Aisha Tariqa’s social media profiles, including on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @AishaTariqa.

Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq is an Indiana State Poet who wants to create greater advocacy and awareness of the plight of America’s poor and homeless. She believes poetic verse has the power to create greater empathy and connection in the Indiana community.

A spokesperson for the poet said, “Aisha Tariqa invites the reader to reflect on this Indiana poem when having discussions about those who are homeless and to remember the original and single foundational crime they have committed: the audacity to subsist and persist with nothing.”

More information is available at

Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq Publishing LLC
Aisha Tariqa Abdul Haqq Publishing LLC

55 Monument Circle
7th Floor
United States

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