Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities (Wesleyan Poetry Series)
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This groundbreaking, transgenre work—part detective story, part literary memoir, part imagined past—is intensely autobiographical and confessional. Proceeding sentence by sentence, city by city, and backwards in time, poet and essayist Kazim Ali details the struggle of coming of age between cultures, overcoming personal and family strictures to talk about private affairs and secrets long held.

The text is comprised of sentences that alternate in time, ranging from discursive essay to memoir to prose poetry. Art, history, politics, geography, love, sexuality, writing, and religion, and the role silence plays in each, are its interwoven themes. Bright Felon is literally “autobiography” because the text itself becomes a form of writing the life, revealing secrets, and then, amid the shards and fragments of experience, dealing with the aftermath of such revelations. Bright Felon offers a new and active form of autobiography alongside such texts as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, Lyn Hejinian’s My Life, and Etel Adnan’s In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country.

About the Author

Kazim Ali was born in the UK to parents of Indian descent. With his family he emigrated to Canada and then the US where he was raised in an Islamic household. He then attended the University at Albany, receiving a BA and an MA in English. Following his graduation, Kazim worked full time as an organizer for a state-wide organization devoted to advocating for greater access to public higher education, funding for the SUNY system, and increased need-based grant aid for students. Following four years of full time organizing and political activity, Kazim returned to his home in the Western New York area and taught in the English Department of Monroe Community College and served as a writer-in-residence at the Just Buffalo Literary Center. Kazim Ali's work has been published in various national journals including jubilat, Barrow Street, The American Poetry Review, and in the Best American Poetry 2007. His first book of poetry, The Far Mosque,' was published by Alice James Books in 2005. Kazim is also the author of a novel, Quinn's Passage,' published by BlazeVox Books. He is founding editor of Nightboat Books.

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