Sufiya Abdur-Rahman

  • Assistant Professor of English

Sufiya Abdur-Rahman’s nonfiction has appeared in publications including Catapult, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Bull Men’s Fiction, The Source, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and NPR. Her writing investigates questions of family, identity, race, and religion and, often, how they intersect.

Her first book, Heir To The Crescent Moon, published by University of Iowa Press in 2021, won the Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction. The memoir examines her experiences as a second-generation black Muslim grasping for connection to a faith from which her parents were pulling away and a collection of personal essays about the nature of growing up, the value of black life, and the struggles of motherhood.

Two of her essays won recognition from the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition in 2014 and another was named Notable in Best American Essays 2016. She is a two-time alumnus of the VONA/Voices Workshop in memoir and completed a residency at Mineral School in 2017 funded by the Sustainable Arts Foundation.  

Prof. Abdur-Rahman believes that everyone has a story to tell and encourages her students to write their truth.


  • M.F.A., Creative Nonfiction, Goucher College, 2012
  • B.A., Print Journalism, Howard University, 2001

Selected Publications:


  • ENG 103: Intro to Creative Writing
  • ENG 221: Intro to Nonfiction 
  • ENG 394: The Art of Commentary and Criticism