KAZIM ALI, CHANDA FELDMAN, LYNN POWELL
Poets Kazim Ali, Chanda Feldman and Lynn Powell will read at Mac's on Saturday, March 3rd at 7 p.m.
Kazim Ali is the author of several poetry, essay and short fiction collections including Inquisition (Wesleyan Poetry 2018) and Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies (Tupelo Press 2018).Chanda Feldman's collection Approaching the Fields is newly published by Louisiana State University Press. Lynn Powell is the author of several poetry collections, including Season of the Second Thoughts (University of Wisconsin Press 2017).
Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. 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 Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and 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.
Queer, Muslim, American, Kazim Ali has always navigated complex intersections and interstices on order to make a life. In this scintillating mixture of lyrics, narrative, fragments, prose poem and spoken word, he answers long standing questions about the role of the poet or artist in times of political or social upheaval, although he answers under duress—an inquisition is dangerous, after all. Ali engages history, politics, and the dangerous regions of the uncharted heart in this visceral new collection.
In 1953, Yoko Ono wrote a score called "Secret Piece," a flexible and open-ended formula for musical performance in an awakening forest at daybreak. Beginning with Ono's summons, and using brief essays, diary entries, prose maps, and verse fragments, Kazim Ali constructs a path through quantum physics, sixth-century Chola Empire sculptures, literary translation, climate change catastrophes, and the destruction of handmade flutes by airport security. Amid these shards from multiple histories and geographies he finds the cosmological in the quotidian.
Chanda Feldman's work has appeared in numerous journals including Cincinnati Review, Ecotone, New South, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Feldman's numerous accolades include awards and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts among others.
Approaching the Fields:
In this debut collection, Chanda Feldman's stunning poems unveil her childhood as well as that of her parents. Memories of desegregation, the days after the assassination of Dr. King, and what life was like for sharecroppers-- including the weddings, family feasts, and hardscrabble conditions that composed their lives-- unfold in this beautiful collection. Both timely and timeless, Feldmen presents a thoughtful and resonating first book.
Lynn Powell is director of Oberlin WITS (Writers in the Schools), a program that engages Oberlin students in teaching creative writing in local schools. As lecturer in creative writing, she also teaches a range of poetry courses in the Creative Writing Program.
Powell is the author of three books of poetry, Season of the Second Thought, Old & New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise, and a book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence: A Mother’s Photographs, A Prosecutor’s Zeal, and a Small Town’s Response. Her poems have been published in numerous journals, including the Paris Review, the Georgia Review, Poetry, FIELD, and Shenandoah. Her work has also appeared in anthologies, including 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday and the Norton Introduction to Literature.
Season of the Second Thought:
Season of the Second Thought begins in a deep blue mood, longing to find words for what feels beyond saying. Lynn Powell's poems journey through the seasons, quarreling with the muse, reckoning with loss, questioning the heart and its "pedigree of Pentecost," and seeking out paintings in order to see inside the self. With their crisp observations and iridescent language, these poems accumulate the bounty of an examined life. These lines emerge from darkness into a shimmering equilibrium—witty, lush, and hard-won.