Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991
Grieving Shias ( Sheep Meadow Press, 2006)
Posted: July 6, 2008
When Raza Ali Hasan cuts into the paradise of the East as he does with deft, terse, dexterous strokes (what's a thin book of poems for if it can't cut?) he discovers for us an archaeology and a polity. Matters of state are revealed in the garden where pomegranates are juxtaposed with cluster bombs. He upsets the lyric. He has compressed history. He has ritualized the encounters of cultures which prove to be both tender and bitter. He has given us reason to grieve, but also in these poems many reasons to rejoice. -Bruce Smith
At home in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syracuse, NY, Raza Ali Hasan deals with material unavailable to any other poet I know writing in English. Without rank, without comrades, he has fought battles of the mind and spirit. The reader may hear music he does not recognize; perhaps it is of the sub-continent. The architecture is American fusion, Mughal, post-colonial, colonial, sometimes peasant, sometimes Syracuse motel. Ali Hasan does not play cricket; his often painfully beautiful poems do not play fair. -Stanley Moss
Raza Ali Hasan takes us behind the lifted veil and through the hole in the sheet that hides the bride. He's a verbal magician and a talent to watch. Read this. -Mary Karr
Raza Ali Hasan was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and grew up in Indonesia and Islamabad, Pakistan. His poems have appeared in Agni, Tampa Review, Cimarron Review, Puerto del Sol and Poetry International. He has a BA in Computer Science and an MA in English from University of Texas at Austin. He is a University Fellow in the MFA program at Syracuse University.