"a very skilful and gifted poet whose way with words is impressive. ... [He] is able to blend the personal, emotional, spiritual and existential dimensions of human experience, and do so without in any way over-playing or undermining any aspect. This is a very rare skill for a poet to possess."
- Muhammad Khan The Muslim News
"The poetry of Joel Hayward, grounded in his wide experience of the Islamic world and his deep study of Judaeo-Christian and Islamic scriptures, depicts a modern spiritual journey inspired by wonder and awe while engaging in undaunted self-questioning. This is a journey that embraces important facets of the everyday life of a Muslim: a highly personal response to the Qur'an, an exploration of religious psychology, and a reflection on problems within and surrounding the Muslim community. This volume offers a highly articulate meditation on the experience of faith in an increasingly problematic world."
-- Professor Rafey Habib, Rutgers University, author of Shades of Islam.
"Joel Hayward's poetry is fascinating, deep, intelligent and beautiful. These evocative poems contain verve and pathos and shed rich insights into the complexities of becoming and then living as a Muslim within a western society in which Islam is a minority religion."
--Shaykh Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Founder and Patron, Minhaj-ul-Quran
"Joel Hayward's poetic style is simple yet poignant; embodying much of the emotions that questions of faith and belonging evoke. He effectively explores the numerous intricate and complicated strands of religion and belief, through a personal, introspective voice, which keeps the reader engaged. This is a unique and refreshing collection of poetry, reflecting on Islam in the 21st Century."
-- Sarah Joseph, Editor, emel
About the Author
Dr Joel Hayward's career highlights include having being Dean of the prestigious Royal Air Force College for five years and head of a King's College London academic division for six years. He is the author or editor of many works of non-fiction. He is also very active in the literary arts, and has written regular columns in emel
and other Islamic magazines and published much fiction and poetry.
His first poetry collection, Lifeblood
, appeared in 2003. The Evening Standard
described it as "memorable and insightful". Chaff'
s reviewer wrote: "Hayward's eclectic poetry reflects his enigmatic mind. ... His poems are passionate and full of rich images and exert a strong and dignified intelligence. Hayward exerts a courageous strength, rebelling against his past creative constraints, and in perhaps a flush of originality and ambitious flair, has achieved a work of art." Lifeblood
is now available in Kindle format.