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Kazim Ali: Wikis


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Kazim Ali (born in 1971)[1] is an American poet, novelist, essayist and professor. Winner of the Alice James Books Award for his first book of poetry, The Far Mosque, his other published works include Fortieth Day and Quinn’s Passage noted by Chronogram Magazine as one of The Best Books of 2005. His most recent publications are two books: 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 in which he writes a regular column, as well as Boston Review, Barrow Street, Jubilat, The Iowa Review, and Massachusetts Review, and in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2007. In addition, five of his “poetics” essays can be found in the Poetry Foundation’s journal archives available on the internet.

In 2003 he co-founded the independent press Nightboat Books, a non-profit company specializing in original books of poetry and the renewal of out-of-print books. Ali served as its publisher from 2004-2007 during which time the company published several books that have received critical acclaim including The Truant Lover by Juliet Patterson, Radical Love: 5 Novels by Fanny Howe and The Sober Ghost by Michael Burkard. He currently serves as a founding editor and President of the Board of Directors.[3]

Ali is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College and serves as a member of the Comparative American Studies Committee. In addition, he 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. Always fascinated with books, he was drawn to them as a young child. His early creative influences draw from a wide range of sources and include painters, poets, authors, musicians and performance artists. Kazim Ali received a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from the University at Albany with a specialty in postcolonial and post-structural theory. He also earned an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University.[4]

His teaching philosophy embodies the idea that “a poem is what’s left after poetry has passed through a place”—an ideology he attributes to Donald Revell’s Invisible Green. He is a self-proclaimed experimental poet who loves to help his students discover new ways of approaching their subject. As an instructor of poetry, Ali works with his students to not only expand their boundaries but also to engage the traditional form of poetics.


Published Works

Poetry Collections


  • The Disappearance of Seth (Etruscan Press, 2009)
  • Quinn’s Passage (BlazeVox Books, 2004)

Other Works



External links



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