Minnesota Humanities Center


An Anthology of Resilience and Hope by Young Somali Writers

“Crossroads: An Anthology of Resilience and Hope by Young Somali Writers” is an anthology of writing by youth and young adult Somali Minnesotans. Edited by author and educator Marian Hassan, this first-of-its-kind collection serves as a necessary pillar of self-representation in this politically challenging time in history. The poets and writers within these pages are at continuous stages of transition and intersection: between childhood and adulthood, Somali and American culture, their own expectations versus the world’s.

Expanding on Somalia’s rich oral heritage, the poems and stories in this book document the modern struggles and resilience of this community in transition. As these writers explore their own histories, their dreams, determination, and journeys of self-discovery are sure to inspire pride and understanding in all who read them.

Contact Us

Eden Bart

Available for purchase online through Itasca Books

If you are tax-exempt and are in Minnesota, contact  orders@itascabooks.com to place an order.

Buying multiple copies? Use the following promo codes to save on your order.

DISC10 – 10% off purchases of 5-10 copies
DISC15 – 15% off purchases of 11-19 copies
DISC20 – 20% off purchases of 20+ copies

“These stories of resilience and hope are acts of self-representation and empowerment not only for Somali youth in our community, but for immigrant communities across our nation. Crossroads reflects Minnesota’s increasingly rich, vibrant, and diverse story, which we continue writing together.”

Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

Learn more from editor Marian A. Hassan

Advanced Praise

“Crossroads is an invaluable resource for educators and students seeking to bridge the gaps in culturally responsive literary material pertaining to East Africa. The anthology takes special significance by elevating the voices of young scholars projected in their own lived experiences of innocence, triumph, and tragedy. Indeed, the variety of topics woven together through common themes of identity, culture, and pride could be used as a stand-alone reading or incorporated into existing lesson plans. I cannot wait to see Crossroads in the hands of audiences all over the world brought together by their appreciation of literature.” —Abdisalam Adam, Assistant Principal, Highland Park Senior High School, Saint Paul, MN

“Crossroads is an awesome collection of stories by the youth of the Somali community in Minnesota. With beautiful writing, they helped me know their unique experiences of trauma and loss–loss of homeland, safety, the blue sea, friends and relatives left behind, identity, language, and more. While some losses may be common to immigrants, past and present, these young writers show us the uniqueness of their experience–and do so with prose and poetry that reflects the rich heritage of Somali writing. This book will help future generations of new Americans, as well as the rest of us, to remember our roots while also embracing the new. I highly recommend Crossroads for educators, students, and the general public.” —Pauline Boss, author of Ambiguous Loss; Professor Emeritus, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota

“This book will be an incredible tool to build understanding and empathy! I highly recommend the anthology as a resource for the classroom and beyond. Hearing from Somali youth in their own voices about their own unique experiences is a great way to bring Minnesotan’s together through story.” —Hamse Warfa, Author and Social Entrepreneur