I met Yusuf El at the Fifth Annual Independent Authors Book Expo. Although a prolific writer, I found Yusef to be composed and one who doesn’t squander his time with silly chatter.
He is confident enough in his own skin, that clogging up the silence, instead of appreciating it, is time wasted on self-reflection. When he has something to say, he expresses it through his poetry and many books.
Yusef was born in Chicago and grew up in Pembroke, Illinois. He received a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree from Governor’s State University.
He is passionate about poetry and enjoys speaking in many locales about his work and experience.
Now that I have introduced you to Yusef, let’s get to know him a little better.
Hello, Yusuf, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications .
Thank you for having me.
What inspired you to be a writer?
My first poem found me. I had given no thought to becoming a writer nor was I impressed with my first fruits.
Is writing your full-time profession?
My full-time profession comprises writing, publishing and selling my books, and public speaking.
Have you won any awards?
My latest book, Thank You & Please, won the IABX award last year for Best Children’s Book. This book also placed as a finalist in the Best Book Awards for Hardcover, Children’s Book, 2017.
How long have you been writing?
Since 1967. I have published since 1973.
How many books have you written?
Twenty to twenty-one, including editing and publishing five anthologies.
Which genres do you write?
Poetry, short stories, self-help.
What do you find most challenging writing for this genres?
What are you working on now?
My Father Knows, a children’s book heralding the wonderful world of fatherhood.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
Interacting with the people who tell me how a book or poem of mine spoke to their souls or told a part of their story.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Be true to your muse. Be true to yourself.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I am self-taught. I have never taken a poetry class. I write what comes to me the way it comes to me.
What message are you sharing in your books?
My books are pages from an ongoing memoir.
What are your favorite books?
My books are my favorite books.
What are your favorite movies, TV shows?
I have no favorite TV shows unless I binge-watch. I could never discipline myself to sit in front of a TV at the same time each week to see what my show is doing.
When you aren’t writing, where can we find you?
Simply living. I have no time set aside to write. I write when things come to me.
What inspires you?
I need not be inspired. I write what comes to me. A poem that comes to me inspires me. I have no way to attract it, so a poem itself is an inspiration.
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc.?
Yes. My website is www.rawtears.com. You can find me at Yusuf Ali El on Facebook.
Book covers, and photos are found on my webpage.