Thursday, November 29, 2012
Admission is free
The Wittliff Collections welcome Kazim Ali for the Fall 2012 semester’s final reading in the Therese Kayser Lindsey series co-sponsored with the Burdine Johnson Foundation and Texas State’s Department of English.
An American poet, novelist, and essayist, Ali is the author of the cross-genre work Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities, published this past August by Wesleyan Press. Part detective story, part literary memoir, part imagined past, Bright Felon is autobiographical and deeply confessional. Writing in sentences that alternate in time and ranging in form from essay to memoir to prose poetry, Ali details the struggle of coming of age between cultures, of overcoming personal and family pressures to talk about private matters and long-held secrets. Art, history, politics, geography, love, sexuality, writing, and religion—and the role silence plays in each—are themes he’s woven throughout.
Ali also authored a translation of Water’s Footfall by one of Iran’s most renowned modern painters and poets, Sohrab Sepehri, whose innovative lyric verse tuned classic Persian poetry to the cadences of spoken language and often mingled the ordinary and natural with the mystical and divine.
Among Ali’s works are two poetry collections, The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award, and The Fortieth Day, and two novels, Quinn’s Passage, named one of the Best Books of 2005 by Chronogram magazine, and The Disappearance of Seth. Ali’s books of essays are Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan. In addition to co-editing On the Poetry of Jean Valentine, he is a contributing editor for AWP’s the Writer’s Chronicle, associate editor of the literary magazine FIELD, and founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books. He is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College and teaches in the Masters of Fine Arts program of the University of Southern Maine.
An author signing will follow the reading. Ali’s books will be for sale by the University Bookstore and Barnes and Noble. The event is free and open to the public. Ali will also give a free reading at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30 at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, 508 Center Street, Kyle, Texas.