Poetry Book Society Summer Choice 2021
In The Voice of Sheila Chandra—named for the British singer rendered almost voiceless by a rare neurological condition—poems give necessary space not only to voice but also its absence. Within its history, both real and imagined, there is both contemplation and an urgency for survival.
"Parts of this collection feel like a long fragmented wail inside a temple, others like a quiet internal dialogue. An impressive, lyrical feat" — Raymond Antrobus
"Kazim Ali is a cosmopolitan spirit ill at ease in a desacralised world and these epic metaphysical poems rank among his finest work." — André Naffis-Sahely
"The Voice of Sheila Chandra is alive with formal invention and innovation that will surely be a fixture in contemporary poetry for years to come." — Sam Sax
"[A] book that is as metaphysical as it is very much of this moment, of this, our crisis … a brilliant book." — Ilya Kaminsky
"There is something major happening here, something that transcends the artifice of language." — Kaveh Akbar