Thursday, February 22, 2018

Split This Rock at AWP in Tampa - March 7–10, 2018

Split This Rock will be at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference (AWP) taking place March 7-10 in Tampa! 

If you're attending, we hope you'll join us to celebrate Split This Rock's 10th anniversary as we rededicate ourselves to poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Check out all the details below! (See the AWP website for more on the conference.)

Visit Split This Rock at 
AWP Table #T603

Visit Split This Rock at Table #T603 in the AWP Conference Bookfair, where you can meet and hang out with Split This Rockers, write a haiku post card to elected officials demanding gun control, buy a T-shirt, mug, or notecards with beautiful artwork with Split This Rock co-chair Dan Vera, pictured above and excerpts from poems in The Quarry, and enter a drawing for a free registration to Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018 featuring Elizabeth Acevedo, Kazim Ali, Ellen Bass, Sherwin Bitsui, Kwame Dawes, Camille Dungy, Ilya Kaminsky, Sharon Olds, Sonia Sanchez, Solmaz Sharif, Terisa Siagatonu, Paul Tran, and Javier Zamora. We look forward to seeing you! 

Split This Rock 10th Anniversary Reading at AWP!

Thursday, March 8 at 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Tampa Convention Center, First Floor, Room 20 & 21

In their last year of leadership, Split This Rock Executive Director Sarah Browning and long-time Board Chair Dan Vera will read with two poets whose work and spirit are central to Split This Rock, Franny Choi and Cornelius Eady. Also performing with Cornelius will be musicians from the Cornelius Eady trio.

Sarah Browning is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness. Author of Killing Summer and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, and co-editor of three special issues of Poetry magazine, she co-hosts Sunday Kind of Love at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC.

Franny Choi is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone. She has received awards and fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and Kundiman. She is a Project VOICE teaching artist and a member of the Dark Noise Collective.

Cornelius Eady is the author of eight poetry collections including Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize, and Brutal Imagination. He holds the Miller Chair at the University of Missouri and is co-founder of Cave Canem.

Dan Vera is co-editor of Imaniman: Poets Respond to Gloria Anzaldúa and author of two books of poetry, most recently Speaking Wiri Wiri. Winner of the 2017 Oscar Wilde Award and Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, his poetry appears in various publications and university writing curricula. He now co-chairs the board of Split This Rock.

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Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology Book Launch & 10th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, March 9 at 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
The Attic Cafe
500 E Kennedy Blvd, Suite 400, Tampa, Florida 33602

Come celebrate the launch of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and Split This Rock’s 10th anniversary! Hosted by Melissa Tuckey, Editor, and Co-Founder of Split This Rock. This ground-breaking book of poems brings social justice to the forefront of eco-poetry and offers a rich terrain of culturally diverse perspectives. 

Readers include Jennifer Atkinson, Sarah Browning, Camille Dungy, Kathy Engel, Jennifer Foerster, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Allison Hedge Coke, Tiffany Higgins, Brenda Hillman, Philip Metres, Lenard Moore, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emmy Pérez, Danez Smith, Pam Ushuck, Dan Vera, and Javier Zamora. 

This off-site event is free! Full cafe menu will be available for purchase, including beer and wine. Within walking distance of the convention center and conference hotel. Wheelchair accessible.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Split This Rock Interview with Camille Dungy

By Melissa Tuckey

This conversation is one in a series of interviews with poets to be featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, 2018.

Early-bird registration IS EXTENDED to Friday, February 23, at midnight EST at Split This Rock's website. Visit the registration page to register now.

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Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths.
Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry: Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017),  Smith Blue (Southern Illinois UP, 2011), Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006). Her debut collection of personal essays is Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History (W. W. Norton, 2017). She has also edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009) and co-edited two other collections. Camille T. Dungy’s honors include an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, Sustainable Arts Foundation fellowships, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her poems and essays have been published in Best American Poetry, The 100 Best African American Poems, nearly thirty other anthologies, and over one hundred print and online journals. Dungy is currently a Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.

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Melissa Tuckey (MT):  In both your memoir, Guidebook to Relative Strangers, and your most recent book of poems, Trophic Cascade, motherhood is central. In your poem “Trophic Cascade” with regards to the reintroduction of gray wolves, you write, “Don’t/ tell me this is not the same as my story. All this/ life born from one hungry animal, this whole/ new landscape, the course of the river changed,/ I know this. I reintroduced myself to myself, this time/ a mother. After which, nothing was ever the same.” I’m curious if and how the experience of being a mother has changed your art, or changed how you think about or approach your writing?   

Camille Dungy (CD):  I wrote two whole books — Trophic Cascade and Guidebook to Relative Strangers — trying to explore if and how the experience of being a mother might have changed my approach toward my writing, my communities, and the world at large. My brief response here would be that the introduction of my daughter into my life has expanded my sense of commitment to hope, to possibility, and to actively working to build strengthening connections between vulnerable communities. I am more aware than ever of our vulnerability. This awareness is partly due to the presence of my child in my life, certainly, but it is also due to the awareness cultivated as a result of living a politically, historically, and environmentally conscious life.

MT: The natural world has been a strong thread in your work. And in Trophic Cascade, many of your poems address the issue of environmental crisis, or loss. The last year has been incredibly harmful for both social justice and the environment. How do you deal with such overwhelm in your writing? What are the challenges in trying to find language in the crisis we are confronting?  What is your advice to writers who are trying to address the ills of the world?

CD: I had already finished the poems in Trophic Cascade before the election of November 2016. Which means that, though I do believe the poems are directly relevant to these times, they were not written in direct response to the immediate political and environmental moment you describe in your question.

Sadly, there is very little about this current state of affairs that surprises me. In fact, there is very little about this current state of affairs that is new. Our nation’s disregard for and violent treatment of people it would call different, would call inferior, would call unwelcome is not a new phenomenon. Though we certainly have seen an increase in the degree of devastation and rapaciousness openly sanctioned by our government, the ideas that this moment of environmental and social/political crisis began in January 2017 is folly. It is a misconception that prevents us from addressing the crises at their roots.

My advice to writers is to pay attention. To continue to pay attention. Look at the root causes of the crises you would address in your work. Every one of my books addresses political, historical and environmental topics similar to those I address in the two books published in 2017. I may come at the questions from different angles, but the questions that concern me, the crises that concern me, have remained consistent. This work we’re doing is constant.

You know those people who run what they call centenary races, or even more remarkably Deca Ironman races? They run ten marathons in a row or finish ten Ironmen. One after another. Day in and day out, they’re completing these demanding races. It’s exhausting, I’m sure, but they know what they’re getting into. That’s what it means to be a social activist, an environmental activist, a civil rights activist, in this country, in this world. You’ve got to do the work, recharge however you can, then put in more work. There will always be another challenge to complete.

MT: I sometimes think the most dangerous thing that can happen right now in this country is the loss of hope. It is such a cynical time. What feeds your sense of hope? Are there books you turn to that feed your spirit?

CD: You’re absolutely right. Part of the strategy of this administration is to force us out of hope. The barrage of new insults, the constant unanswered calls to my Senator’s office, the installation again and again of unsuitable judges and cabinet members, all of that is designed to make us give up, to make us think it will be impossible for us to effect the change we want to see in the world. Simply knowing that the entire point of it all is to make me lose hope is often enough fire up my will to maintain hope.

I read June Jordan (I’m so excited about the new collection of her work!), Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks; and I read my peers, who are producing some of the best literature America has ever seen. Truly. Astounding work is coming from writers of color and politically and environmentally-engaged writers today. That gives me all kinds of hope. We have not been silenced.

And, my daughter gives me hope, and she ignites my determination not to allow my hope to be shattered. I will fight for her and for her dear sweet little friends and for the narwhals and the manatees and the snowy owls and the elephants. And I will cry sometimes for all of them, for all of us, and then I will wake up in the morning and find a new way to fight.

MT: You have a new book of prose and poetry, which seem to be written simultaneously. Did the experience of writing Guidebook to Relative Strangers inform your poetry in any way—I mean, do you have a sense that the two forms of writing are in conversation, as you are writing? 

CD: What I do is write one line and then write another and then another. Some of the lines came out as prose. Some came out as poetry. You’re right that they were written nearly simultaneously, but I wasn’t thinking about it that way. I was just trying to write, and sometimes one mode worked better than another. Sometimes, I was writing prose. Sometimes I was writing poetry. And then at some point one book called to be gathered, and it was not long before the other called to be gathered as well.

I don’t know that the two forms were in conversation for me anymore than night and day are in conversation. Which is to say, one is very different than the other, but they are also really not so different at all. They are both actually always taking place on the planet at the same time. If you take a larger view of the planet, you can see night and day existing at once. I am beginning to think that this hard separation we make between genres might be dangerous. We’re into categories and divisions in this country, often dangerously so. Since one of the things I am working to resist are categories and divisions that allow us to belittle and marginalize one group in favor of another, I’ve begun to interrogate my thinking about all sorts of divisions.

MT:  You are tremendously active, writing, reading, teaching, mothering. How do you make the most of the time you have for writing?

CD: I don’t feel like I DO make the most of the time I have for writing. I feel like I am always wanting to be writing more, reading more, and also mothering more.
I always wish there were more time in my days. I think that at one time in my life I didn’t have to sleep as much as I need to sleep now. Maybe I used to steal more time from myself, as the women poets used to suggest needed to be done for women, and mothers in particular, to find time to write. I think my daughter has changed the way my time and attention can be apportioned.

What I’m working on now is honoring the time I do have. When I’m with my daughter, I try to be fully with my daughter. Device-free time whenever possible. I try to be similarly focused when I have time to be with the page. I listen to a lot of novels and nonfiction on Audible—I’ll tell the world that little secret. It feels like cheating as a writer not to be reading everything from a book, but Audible has kept me in books over the last few busy years. Listening to Audible, I can “read” while gardening or washing dishes or walking to work. I don’t have much curl up and just read time in my life right now, but I’m not willing to give up books just because I don’t have leisure hours.

 I’m not as productive as I’d like to be, but rather than being down on myself about that, I am learning to honor the fact, and trying to be as productive as I can be with the tools I have at my disposal.

MT:  What’s next for you?

CD: It’s always one line and then another line and then another. That’s all I can pledge to myself and the world. One day, hopefully, those lines will add up to something, but at this point there’s no telling what or when that will be.

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Additional Links

On Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, edited by Camille Dungy. (National Public Radio)

Frequently Asked Questions: #7,” by Camille T. Dungy (The Quarry)

Visit also Dungy's poems “Arthritis is one thing, the hurting is another” and “Daisy Cutter” (The Quarry)

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Photo by Dave R. Phillips.
Melissa Tuckey is a poet and literary activist. Tenuous Chapel, her book of poems, was selected by Charles Simic for the ABZ First Book Award in 2013. Other honors include a Black Earth Institute fellowship and a winter fellowship at Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She's received grants in support of her work from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Ohio Arts Council. Tuckey's poems have been anthologized in DC Poets Against the War anthology, EcopoetryFire and Ink: Social Action Writing, and Truth to Power. Tuckey is a co-founder of Split This Rock where she currently serves as Eco-Justice Poetry Project Coordinator. She’s editor of Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology with University of Georgia Press. Melissa Tuckey lives in Ithaca, New York.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Quarry's Top 10 Most-Viewed Poems of 2017

In 2017, readers turned most often to ten poems that affirm our humanity, mourn our wounds and loss, and that speak to us of reunion and joyful rebellion.

We are delighted to present the ten most-viewed poems published in Split This Rock’s social justice poetry database, The Quarry, in 2017. They represent this country’s greatest strength – the variety of our residents' backgrounds and the clarifying views they offer on living this human and troubled American life. In 2017 the all-time most read poems changed to the top two poems of 2017. Previously the All Time Number 1 Poem was Ross Gay’s “A Small Needful Fact,”and still holds at Number 3 since The Quarry went online. You may read previous collections of most-viewed poems on Blog This Rock.

Many of these top ten poems also happen to connect to Split This Rock’s history and directly to our work in 2017. Amanda Gorman, the first US Youth Poet Laureate, offered her inaugural poem for Poem of the Week. Melissa Tuckey is a co-founder of the organization, and the poems by Keno Evol, Purvi Shah, and Keith Wilson all placed in the Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest in 2017.  Richard Blanco featured at Richard Blanco featured at Split This Rock’s fifth anniversary celebration, and Aracelis Girmay featured at the poetry festival in 2016. Both of their poems were part of a special portfolio edition of Poem of the Week published on inauguration day 2017.

Kazim Ali will feature at this year’s Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness in Washington, DC from April 19 through April 21, along with Elizabeth Acevedo, Kazim Ali, Ellen Bass, Sherwin Bitsui, Kwame Dawes, Camille Dungy, Ilya Kaminsky, Sharon Olds, Sonia Sanchez, Solmaz Sharif, Terisa Siagatonu, Paul Tran, Javier Zamora! We do hope you can join us. Early bird rates are available until February 23! Visit Split This Rock's website for details.

2017’s most-viewed poems run the gamut from mourning to celebration. These poems mourn our distance from the future world we deserve. These poems provoke us to embrace and behold each other. These poems witness the way to a future we know is possible. That future is a social world organized with our dignity at its center. That future ennobles us, lets us live in cooperation with nature, in our varied and glorious bodies, sustained by the many shapes and textures of our love. That future lets us share stories and languages and practices, lets us share all of them knowing they will be honored for the sacred inheritance they are.

In these ten poems, and all the poems of The Quarry, we can hear intimations of the future we mean to live, we can hear her warm breath singing full-throated and ready.
1   Declaration of Interdependence, by Richard Blanco
2   YOU ARE WHO I LOVE, by Aracelis Girmay
3   Do You Speak Persian, by Kaveh Akbar
4   Politics of an Elegy, by Hieu Mihn Nguyen
5   In This Place (An American Lyric), by Amanda Gorman
6   Shooting for the Sky, by Purvi Shah
7   Requiem, Melissa Tuckey
8   Peach, by Kazim Ali
9   Black Matters, by Keith Wilson

We invite readers to find these poem in The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database, along with their 475-plus kin, to find in these poems the sense of belonging that fuels the long work of resistance and imagination. The poems are searchable by social justice theme and indexed to encourage discovery.

We hear of the poems being used by teachers in classrooms, for writing workshops, in vigils, performances, worship services, and more! The poems are traveling the country and the world with their witness and their provocation. Everywhere these poems are read, they insist that the beloved community Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of is not a lost idea and that our path to a just and thriving world begins with seeing each other clearly, with generous vision.

In Split This Rock’s tenth anniversary year, we are firming up plans to expand The Quarry’s reach even further, so it continues to function not only as a repository of excellent poetry, but as an active tool for those who seek to make justice present in our time. We’re always open to innovative ideas from Splitistas– for organizing, teaching, worship, reflection. Email your story of using The Quarry to

M. F. Simone Roberts
Managing Editor of The Quarry
Split This Rock Poetry & Social Justice Fellow

Monday, February 12, 2018

Split This Rock Interview with Kazim Ali

by Domenica Ghanem

This conversation is one in a series of interviews with poets to be featured at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness, 2018.

Early-bird registration has been extended to Friday, February 23, at midnight EST at Split This Rock's website. Visit the registration page to register now.

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Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian, and Egyptian descent. He received a BA and MA from the University of Albany-SUNY and an MFA 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 DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet. Among his books of essays is Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College. His new book of poems, Inquisition, and a new hybrid memoir, Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies, will both be released in 2018. Learn more at his website. Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones.

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Domenica Ghanem (DG):  What do you think is the relationship between your poetry or poetry in general and politics, especially in “Trump’s America?”

Kazim Ali (KA): Well, we have all of us always been "political," or functioned in a political and social context. To be given additional context or attention since the election due to the racism and prejudice slung my way does not make a better situation for me or other Muslim writers. Still, I am glad to see many younger Muslim voices in poetry--Tarfia Faizullah, Solmaz Sharif, Kaveh Akbar, Ruth Awad, Fatimah Asghar, Leila Chatti and Zeina Hashem Beck all come to immediate mind but there are so many others, so many I couldn't even count them.

Truly in the past ten years there has been a wave of young Muslim poets publishing and for this reason I feel very sure, very confident, not at all in crisis. I write about the body, I write about the spirit, I write about music, art and dance, but none of these things, none, are separate for me from one another or from this vague term "politics." Politics means how we live in the world. Unless you live with the privilege of being able to ignore that then you are political.

DG: Many people have become more aware of social issues because of the Trump administration’s open assault on many communities. But for many people, including us in the Muslim American community, we haven’t had the privilege of ignoring these issues. In what ways has the work you’re doing today in your writing and in your classes changed or been affected by today’s political environment, or are you working with the same themes you’ve been building on? What themes remain relevant?

KA: A little while ago I thought I ought to stop writing about God. The reason is that I was starting to have ideas. Ideas mean a system of ideas. Every idea you have may preclude another. I thought that it would be better to have a space of unknowing and that other poets would continue to make poems about God. I don't know if I have kept my promise or not, but by turning away from the task of trying to know the unknown and from the vocabulary of the spirit, which is necessarily the language of abstraction, I was able to come back into the world.

What occupies me now is physical landscape, the history of places, the ways human communities work in time and space -- maybe I have become a sociologist or a geographer -- but I still work in sound and gesture. At the moment it's contested places that interest me --the struggles of the Pimicikamak Cree of Northern Manitoba against the provincial government which dammed the river that gave them their livelihood and compromised their culture and their way of life; or perhaps the work I do in offering yoga teachings and trainings to Palestinian people in the West Bank. Or the "border" communities that exist in every American town and city, not just those on our southern border.

DG:  You’re described as an “American poet”, but I understand you have a layered ethnic and national background and do a lot of international travel -- how do you find your poetry is received differently in different countries? What themes seem to resonate on a universal level?

KA: I have traveled a fair amount, but it is (mostly) not to do poetry readings or participate in international literary communities. I have done some of that in India and was fortunate enough to publish a book of selected poems in India a couple of years back. But my travel in other places has been as a private citizen, a wanderer, an explorer, a writer (to be writing, not to have a public life as a "writer"), for international solidarity work or for my work as a (volunteer) yoga teacher. I have been strongly affected myself by the literary contexts of the places I visit. Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and Urguayan Cristina Peri Rossi have both been very important to me. Among French writers Ananda Devi and Marguerite Duras are both touchstone figures. In India I met many incredible poets and writers whose work nourishes me.

DG:  How do you use poetry as a tool to teach about subjects not necessarily having to do with poetry – like social issues, or general self-expression? Things you often learn about in college that aren’t necessarily dictated in the curriculum. In some of your work you talk about being both Muslim and queer. Do you find that there’s a lot of push and pull between those identities? Has poetry helped you reconcile them?

KA: On the one hand for me there isn't a push and pull between the identities because they each live inside of me. Also, the identities are fluid and I construct them and they construct me through my life. My relationship to each has changed. Certainly, of the poets I love, dearest are the ones who can reveal to me the internal life, the strange negotiation that we all have to make in a larger external world that does not include us. That's not unique to being Muslim or to being queer but to every person. Poetry too can give us a sense of how time works, how place/space and its construction by political and social forces govern our beings. 

DG:  I’ve often struggled with what it means to be a “good Muslim woman” and sometimes more importantly a “good Muslim daughter.” Have you had similar struggles of trying to be a “good Muslim son?” What level of support have you had from your parents?

KA: I can't talk too much about my family here, beyond what I've put in books. We are trying to find our ways and some times have been easier than others. But I will tell you this much, Islam is a religion of plurality and always has been. You must find what truth is in it for you and what place it has in your own life. That too has fluctuated and changed for me throughout my life. As I say in a poem called "OriginStory," "I have not been a good son." It's as ironic a statement as it is sincere. I have no answer.

DG:  There are so many prolific Indian, Iranian, and Egyptian poets -- do any of them in particular inspire your work?

KA: So many. I am working on editing a (very small compact) selection of contemporary Indian anglophone poets for POETRY; I'll say Eunice de Souza, who recently passed away, was a favorite for me. Sohrab Sepehri, the twentieth century Iranian poet, is a major touchstone figure. I've translated three of his books (published in one volume by BOA Editions). I find in his work a marrying of physical and spiritual, concrete and abstract, that I have found nowhere else.

DG:  In a recent interview about your poem “Checkpoint,” you said that sometimes you feel like a journalist and that “Checkpoint” is an interrogation of passport control at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Life in the occupied territories is certainly an under-reported story. What are some of your other poems that might offer us a glimpse into the stories you’d like to see reported in the news? 

KA: I worked on many poems from my experiences traveling that are in my two forthcoming books; I'm working on two current projects, both of them are nonfiction. The first is a short book about the Canadian dam I mentioned earlier. The part of the story I didn't tell you is that my dad was one of the engineers who helped to design the electrical systems of the dam. I don't think any of the workers back in 1976 knew what the impacts of the dam would be, but I grew up there, in a trailer-park town in the middle of the boreal forest, for four years while this dam was being built. Last year I went back up there to the reservation and stayed for a little while and researched and interviewed aboriginal elders, activists, and government officials.

I am trying to recount the simultaneous stories of my own personal journey and the story of the Pimicikamak. My second project is about teaching yoga and making connections between the ancient teachings and the current situation in the Middle East. What most people may not know is that yoga has been in the middle east for hundreds of years. In the 1500s one of the more enlightened princes of the Mughal empire, Dara Shikoh, commissioned Farsi translations of all the texts and yoga made its way across Persia and into the Arab world. It may be new to teach in the context of life in the contemporary West Bank, but it's not new at all.
DG: You have two new books coming out this year, what excites you about each?

KA: I have a book of essays called Silver Road: Essays, Maps, & Calligraphies. It intersperses short essays with diary fragments, short poems, and lyric "prose maps," that each try to tell the story of a place in movement. I like the braided form and the book has been a long time in the writing. In fact, all the braided strands were written separately and apart from each other-- there was no intention at the time of original writing that they would make a book together-- so it feels organic, an archive of my life and a pattern of my way of thinking.

In March, my new collection of poems is coming out. It is called Inquisition. I am excited about it because I feel like I have moved into different modes -- it includes lyrics, narrative poems, even two pieces that had their origins as spoken word pieces. With each new collection I want to turn a corner formally, but I also want to challenge myself as a poet in terms of subject matter, how honest I can be, how many risks I can take. So, this book has a couple of poems that worry me, that frighten me in terms of making me feel exposed by putting them out in the world. So that's thrilling and anxiety-inducing.

DG: If someone were exploring your work for the first time, which work or works would you suggest?

KA:I couldn't say. I have written in so many different genres and modes that they make a beautiful pattern for me. If I could suggest anything I would hope a reader would not just read one book but would try two or three or four.

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Additional Links

A reading of the essay "Poetry is Dangerous" by Kazim Ali from ORANGE ALERT: ESSAYS ON POETRY, ART AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF SILENCE (University of Michigan 2010).

Interview with Kazim Ali, by Kaveh Akbar (Divedapper).

Interview with Kazim Ali, by Britney Gulbrandsen (Superstition Review).

"Peach" by Kazim Ali (The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database).

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Domenica Ghanem is the media manager and co-manager of the communications team at the Institute for Policy Studies. She is an activist and writer on issues of the drug war, criminal justice, justice for Palestine, rape culture, and Islamophobia. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with degrees in journalism and political science in 2015.