The Far Mosque
The Far Mosque
“Painterly minimalism, open-field technique and Near Eastern traditions together give Ali a neatly varied verbal palette for his smart, quietly attractive poems….his unresting intellect and acoustic talents make him a poet to watch.”
Available in print.
Poet, editor, and prose writer Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include Quinn’s Passage and The Disappearance of Seth. Ali is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College. His new book of poems, Inquisition, will be released in the Spring of 2018.
“Ali, author of the novel Quinn’s Passage, reveals a rich and daring poetic voice in his first book of poetry. If one of the poet’s tasks is to revive the mythological powers in things, Ali does so skillfully here.”
“The young T.S. Eliot’s personae in “Gerontion” and other pre-Waste Land poems resonate in Ali’s work, but unlike the studies impersonality and austerity of Eliot, Ali has a vibrant and generous personality that lets one hear the inner music that makes us remember what it is to be human.”
—Painted Bride Quarterly
“The Far Mosque by Kazim Ali is a book in which the author has managed to render into the English language the universal inner voice. These poems talk to the reader from the realm in which we are all human. What a poet to be able to define spirit using the American vocabulary! These poems, so very different from my own, speak clearly to me. What a gift!”
“Kazim Ali’s poems feel both ancient and entirely new, marrying the old Persian tradition of discontinuity to the rapid shifts of postmodern disjunction. This is a first collection of genuine originality and strange distinction, each poem a fragment of the deep notation of one ‘not listening to the music, but to the door.’”
“There is a metaphysical feel to this poetry that renders it fit for our globalized age, a geography underwritten by the loss of fixed abode, so that the journey, shifting in all its elements becomes all there is to hold onto. Any resting place reached must be renounced and a future shorn of permanence comes into being, a cliff climb, a strenuous hovering that permits sense to appear.”
—Meena Alexander in American Poet
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