Kazim Ali & Rick Barot with Paisley Rekdal
Two stellar poets are joined by a third in reading and conversation via virtual means here this evening. Kazim Ali, poet, translator (in more directions than one), novelist, memoirist, writer in various forms (this doesn’t begin to say it) is on hand with his newest book of poems, The Voice of Sheila Chandra (Alice James Books). Reading with him, in what would be the ‘host’ position were we doing this in-person is Tacoma-based poet and head of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, Rick Barot, whose new collection, The Galleons (Milkweed Editions), has just been longlisted for the 2020 National Book Awards. Joining them in conversation will be poet Paisley Rekdal, whose most recent books are Nightingale (poetry) and The Broken Country (prose).
“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.”—sam sax.
“Both stately and restless, Rick Barot’s The Galleons wrestles European mercantilism with an intimate grip, tracing a personal and historical journey from the Philippines to the Americas. With his ‘grudging faith / in the particular,’ Barot deftly oscillates between the sensuous beauty of a life keenly observed and the larger forces that inform and threaten it. ‘Longer than I can remember,’ he writes, ‘I have prayed to the patron saint / of eyesight for a new way, a new accuracy.’ Reader, his prayers have been answered!” ―Philip Metres.
Presented by Elliott Bay Book Company in association with Tasveer and Tasveer South Asia Literary Festival/TSAL (starting October 20), in which Kazim Ali will also be participating.