William Carlos Williams once wrote “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
In this year's WHY LITERATURE MATTERS, Grossmont College students participate in panel discussion advocating the relevance of literature and its potential to inspire change, cultivate humanity, and serve us in, both, personal and global ways. Each student will share their moving and powerful personal account of the role literature has played in each of their journey.
Past WLM panelists have included PUENTE students, history professor Dr. Sue Gonda, author and Humanities professor Maria Rybakova, Dean of English/Social and Behavioral Sciences Agustin Albarran, English Department Chair Dr. Oralee Holder, Humanities professor Dr. Pete Schmidt, as well as writing students Cassady Lynch and Felicia Williams, both alumnae of the Grossmont College Creative Writing Program.
Photo of Kazim Ali by Tanya Rosen-Jones
The finale to LAF 22 begins with a reading by the 2018 Writing Project winner, then continues with the celebrated Muslim-born KAZIM ALI, an LGBTQ poet, novelist, and memoirist.
Born in the U.K. to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent, Ali holds
a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University.
He is also a former member of the Cocoon Theatre Modern Dance Company and has taught
at Oberlin College and the low-residency Stonecoast MFA program at the University
of Southern Maine.
Of his writing, Library Journal praises Kazim Ali for continuing “his task of creating a rejuvenated language that longs to be liberated from the weight of daily routine and the power of dogmatic usage...writing in the tradition of Wallace Stevens, Ali is clearly a poet of ideas and symbols, yet his words remain living entities within the texture of the poem.” His books of prose include the recently published novel, The Secret Room: A String Quartet (Kaya Press 2017) and a collection of essays, Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice (Tupelo Press 2011). Among his acclaimed books of poetry are Sky Ward (winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry), The Far Mosque (winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award), and The Fortieth Day. Ali's latest book of poems, Inquisition (Wesleyan Poetry), and his new memoir, Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies (Tupelo Press), were both released in early 2018.
Kazim Ali has received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Featured in Best American Poetry 2007, Ali has been a regular columnist for the American Poetry Review and a contributing editor for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ Writer’s Chronicle. He now resides in Ohio and is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College.
Poetry / Transgenre
|All One's Blue. Harper Collins India, 2016. ISBN: 9789351775409||Bright Felon: Autobiographies and Felons. Wesleyan University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780819572769
|The Far Mosque. Alice James Books, 2005. ISBN: 9781882295531||The Fortieth Day. BOA Editions Ltd., 2008. ISBN: 9781934414040|
|Inquisition. Wesleyan University Press, 2018. ISBN: 9780819577627||Sky Ward. Wesleyan, 2013. ISBN: 9780819573575|
|Anaïs Nin: An Unprofessional Study. Agape Editions, 2017. ISBN: 9781939675378||Fasting for Ramadan. Tupelo Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781932195941|
|Resident Alien. University of Michigan Press, 2015. ISBN:||Orange Alert. University of Michigan Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780472052912|
|Silver Road: Essays, Maps, and Calligraphies. Tupelo Press, 2018. ISBN: 9781936797998|
|The Disappearance of Seth. Etruscan Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780979745089|
|Quinn's Passage. blazeVox books, 2005. ISBN: 9780975922774||The Secret Room. Kaya Press, 2017. ISBN: 9781885030184|
|Uncle Sharif's Life in Music. Sibling Sivalry Press, 2016. ISBN: 9781943977208||Wind Instrument. Spork Press, 2014.|
Captions and transcripts available.
“Fairy Tale." (Poem.) Posted 29 Apr 2015 by Broad and High. Duration: 00:03:20. youtu.be/Xb4l9q62tMI
“Poetry is Dangerous: An Essay by Kazim Ali.” Posted 6 July 2011 by PoetryisNews. Duration: 00:06:18. youtu.be/jhGH-BM6u1s
“from The Fortieth Day: ‘Dear Sunset, Dear Avalanche,’ and ‘Rope.’” Posted 10 Nov. 2017 by PoetryisNews. Duration: 00:02:11. youtu.be/cbYqiz8GTiE
“Poet Kazim Ali at Fierce Love: The Field Office Collective Reading.” Posted 23 Jul. 2017 by The Field Office. Duration: 00:14:51. youtu.be/oweEoodVbH0