It's difficult to describe the deeply symbolic poems of Rofiah Breen outside of the poems themselves. Rooted in both the realms of the spirit and the body, they explore religion, death, and feminity in a dark, often frightening fashion. She uses the symbols of Islam and interpersonal relationships to discuss emotions that we all encounter.
Rofiah Breen has been teaching creative writing at California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California for the past thirteen years. She also serves as faculty advisor for Penumbra, the campus art and literary annual. She lived in Southeast Asia, chiefly Indonesia, from 1969-1973, where she joined Subud, a spiritual movement. She eventually became Muslim, upon the birth of her second child. She yearns to move on with her life, although she'd probably prefer to be moved.
Rofiah is the editor of an annual, Penumbra. The 1999 issue of Penumbra combined the work of local campus and community writers and artists with that of poets of the San Francisco Renaissance. Included were Etel Adnan, Lewis MacAdams, Duncan McNaughton, Michael Rothenberg, Joanne Kyger, Leslie Scalapino, David Meltzer, Rick Fields, Tom Clark and Bill Berkson. If you'd like to submit your poetry or fiction to Penumbra, The Art and Literary Annual of California State University, Stanislaus, please send your work by February 20th to Rofiah Breen, English Department, CSU Stanislaus, 801 West Monte Vista Avenue, Turlock, VA 95382. You can also write to Rofiah at Rofiah@aol.com.
Rofiah's works here at Unlikely Stories are:
I'm telling you
July 1999 - July 2000:
How Is the Body Held at Ease
How I Came to America