An Evening with Kazim Ali

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Archived

Streaming online & Atrium, McNally Robinson - Grant Park, 1120 Grant Avenue

Join us for an evening with acclaimed poet Kazim Ali as he reads from and discusses his latest publication Sukun: New and Selected Poems (Goose Lane Editions). Hosted by Jenny Heijun Wills and co-presented by the McNally Robinson Booksellers.

The event will be hosted live in the Atrium of McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park and also available as a simultaneous YouTube stream.

The poetry of Kazim Ali “invites us to give ourselves over to the music of language” (Beloit Poetry Journal). Known for its lyrical and expressive language, “crafted with a controlled, delicate quality that never stops questioning, never stops teaching, and never stops astounding,” (American Poet), Ali’s work explores themes of identity, migration, and the intersections of cultural and spiritual traditions.

Sukun (Arabic for stillness or rest, as well as being a diacritic that indicates there is no vowel to pronounce following a consonant) draws from a generous selection from Ali’s six full-length collections. This remarkable volume also includes 25 astonishing new poems and an afterword by the poet. Together, they allow us to trace Ali’s passions and concerns and to take the measure of his art: the close attention to the spiritual and the visceral, and the deep language play that is at once musical and plain spoken.

Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Kazim Ali is a Queer, Muslim writer who is currently professor and chair of the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of 25 books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and translations, as well as the editor of five collected volumes. In 2004, he co-founded the small press Nightboat Books and served as its first publisher, and he continues to edit books with the press. Ali is also a certified yoga instructor, teaching yoga and training yoga teachers in Ramallah, Palestine for many years.