Published: Feb. 17, 2016

By Raza Ali Hasan, instructor of English

Sheep Meadow Publishing

“Once at home in Pakistan, now nested in Colorado, Ali Hasan writes in newsreel cuneiform. His poetry tastes of fast foods and ancient feasts, his language is spiced with moral and political ginger. Or you might say his proven experimental poetry written out of necessity allows him to survive in the academy of broken hearts and letters. His poetry and learning come out of texts and battles, lost and won, and march from state to state. Somehow, mysteriously, Ali Hasan’s poetry is informed by love he never speaks of. How can an eagle sing like a nightingale? How can a raptor protect the reader with his wing?”

—Stanley Moss

“The Pakistani-American poet Raza Ali Hasan’s terse lyrics, written with elegant slant rhymes, survey an unprecedented landscape of space-time. In compressed verses, they rhyme the US-inspired deaths of leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Salvador Allende with mythic episodes from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. In the tradition of Mughal painting, he miniaturizes the violence of the ‘violent American century,’ contemplating it with the ironic composure of an Auden or Cavafy heir. And he hints at more, as when he walks out of Charlton Heston’s Ben Hur to a rainy U.S. city, “blurry with wonder struck poplars.”

—Peter Dale Scott

Publication date: 2015