Kazim Ali is no stranger to the nuances of displacement: he was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian descent who emigrated first to Canada, then to the United States. In hybrid poems, essays, and novels, Ali traverses not just oceans but the self, reminding us to honor our unearthly histories as much as we do the quotidian artifacts of our day-to-day lives.
Whether drawing our attention to his father's steel comb, explicating an excerpt of the Qur'an, or enacting a moment of quiet meditation, Ali's tireless pursuit of the question "Why do I believe what I was taught?" across multiple genres reminds us that the path to revelation must be paved with language—language as rejuvenated as it is elemental, as particular as it is expansive. Kazim Ali is the author of three collections of poetry, two novels, and two volumes of critical writing. He has taught at the University of Southern Maine and the Culinary Institute of America and currently teaches at Oberlin College. The founding editor of Nightboat Books, he is the recipient of an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.