Ramapo student Khalisah Hameed releases her latest art anthology


Photo by Khalisah Hameed

Khalisah Hameed, a junior at Ramapo, released her third publication on Oct.1: an art anthology titled “When the Sun Rose at 9:08.” 

“When the Sun Rose at 9:08” is a collection of written and visual art following voices of Union County, NJ, as the title plays on the 908 area code. Various artists from all over Union County, most of which are friends of Hameed, contributed pieces to the new publication. Union County has a strong and diverse community of artists, and Hameed has built bonds with the members of the community.

“There is this open mic that started three years ago in this café called Ohmies in Roselle, NJ, and I’ve been going to Ohmies since my senior year of high school,” Hameed said. “Through Ohmies, I’ve met a lot of these artists that were included in the anthology, so it wasn’t hard to get them together since we’re all pretty close.”

Hameed is a Music Production major with a minor in Creative Writing and Africana Studies. She is president of the Muslim Student Association and serves as the Student Women’s Outreach Cordinator for the Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Services. Hameed dedicates her free time to her writing and art.

Including the process of reaching out to artists, compiling and editing material, organizing and publishing the anthology, the entire process only took four months. The anthology was self-published through IngramSpark, providing an easy process for Hameed to share her work with the world, specifically advertised through social media platforms. 

This is Hameed’s third publication, the first two being "Concrete Growth" and "Indigo Sun." However, this is her first collaborative piece. Rather than needing to compile roughly 80 of her own poems, which she did with her first two independent poetry collections, she was able to receive them more quickly and easily because she was working with several other artists. 

Hameed is credited as the editor of the anthology, though all the other contributors are just as important. Artist Second ELMNT is credited for the cover art, and many other artists can be found within the pages of the anthology. 

The book is divided into two sections. "The first section, being 'Our Homes,' is when we speak about how we feel about our towns, the state and Union County. And then the second section, being 'Our Minds,' is the freestyle section,” Hameed said. The focus on Union County is a closer, in-depth look at the local, artistic voices right in our own backyards. 

By reading this collaborative project, Hameed said “You can gain more knowledge of the people around you and other experiences, especially because Ramapo is in an area not entirely focused on diversity and ethnicity, so getting the perspective of other people outside of that little bubble is so important."

“When the Sun Rose at 9:08” can be purchased on Barnes & Noble’s website. All proceeds will be donated to the United Way of Greater Union County, an organization that helps children and families in financial need within the community.

Hameed will be releasing more individual and collaborative publications in the future, as well as working toward her goal of combining spoken word poetry with musical accompaniments. Khalisah Hameed is just one of many powerful artists on Ramapos campus, and it is voices like hers that guide Ramapo towards a greater understanding of the unique, diverse voices in our community.