Join The Book Catapult as we host renowned poet Kazim Ali for a virtual event via Zoom for his new collection, The Voice of Sheila Chandra on Tuesday, November 24 at 7pm. Kazim will be in-conversation with fellow poet Blas Falconer.
Zoom Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 898 3815 2221
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“‘So how do you discern a shape for / what is often called god’ asks the poet in a book that is as metaphysical as it is very much of this moment, of this, our crisis. How so? Because every crisis is first of all metaphysical. Kazim Ali speaks in the same breath of the injustice of our world and of ‘the actual syllables Orpheus sang/ to the dead to be allowed into hell.’ This is a metaphysics of a scream. It speaks against world that wrongs us, yes—but also of ‘what language cannot / hold onto,’ of ‘ecstatic sound aiming to reach from the muck of the earth.’ What is this speech like? It takes many forms: lyrical, cinematic, choral. The Voice of Sheila Chandra is a sequence of sequences, a book where three long poems come together to make a statement that is far larger than the sum of its parts. It is a brilliant book.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa
“Kazim Ali’s newest collection of poems is brilliant and chilling and filled with sound. The Voice of Sheila Chandra is alive with formal invention and innovation that will surely be a fixture in contemporary poetry for years to come. Part researched document, part song, part deep excavation of the soul, there is much to learn from this book. Ali forces us to contend with history & the present in order to imagine a future where we survive.”
Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including several volumes of poetry, novels, and translations. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water.