Biography of Kazim Ali
Kazim Ali (born 1971) is an American poet, novelist, essayist and professor. His most recent books are The Disappearance of Seth (Etruscan Press, 2009) and Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities (Wesleyan University Press, 2009). His honors include an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. His poetry and essays have been featured in many literary journals and magazines including The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Barrow Street, Jubilat, The Iowa Review, West Branch and Massachusetts Review, and in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2007.
In 2003 he co-founded the independent press Nightboat Books, and served as its publisher from 2004 to 2007, and currently serves as a founding editor.
Ali is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College and teaches in the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine. Previously, he taught in the Liberal Arts Department of The Culinary Institute of America, at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and at Monroe College.
He was born in the UK to parents of Indian descent, and raised in Canada and the United States. Kazim Ali received a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from the University at Albany, and an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University.
In 2012 a firewall for the University of South Florida was nominated to be named after him.
Kazim Ali Poems
With thick strokes of ink the sky fills with rain. Pretending to run for cover but secretly praying for more rain.
"The Sailor cannot see the North—but knows the Needle can—" The books were all torn apart, sliced along the spines
Lost in the summer afternoon The house's upper floors disappear
we didn't really speak my summer wants to answer
My father had a steel comb with which he would comb our hair. After a bath the cold metal soothing against my scalp, his hand cupping my chin.
You wanted to be so hungry, you would break into branches, and have to choose between the starving month's
The Fortieth Day
Seeing your way clear of endless storm
Denuded and abandoned I recite but what do I want
How struck I was by that face, years ago, in the church mural: Eve, being led by Christ through the broken gates of Hell.
Bright Felon Dvd Extra/Alternate Ending
In the convicted evening I am a victor struck loose and restless, creeping for the unlocked window.
My father's silence I cannot brook. By now he must know I live and well. My heart is nickel, unearthed and sent. We are a manmade catastrophe.
Paradise lies beneath the feet of your mother. A verse I've heard recited so frequently
a light knocking on the sleep door like the sound of a rope striking the side of a boat
It should be a letter To the man inside
My father's silence I cannot brook. By now he must know I live and well.
My heart is nickel, unearthed and sent. We are a manmade catastrophe.
Unable to forgive, deeply mine this earthly light that swells sickly inside.
Like wind I drift westward and profane when the doors of ice slide open.
While he prays my father swallows the sickle moon, its bone sharp path spent.
Preyed upon by calendars of stone unbound the nickel of the mountain in streams.
Mine this awful empty night. Mine this unc