Amidst the dangers of figurative language, the coercion of sentimentality, and the insidious freight of abstraction, these poems embody the necessity for the critical, the communal, the real. Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real uses conceptual critiques of public discourse and experimental social cartographies, as well as lyrics of intimacy, to defy prescribed ways of being. This is an act of resistance against dangerous and domineering narratives, and the power they inscribe.
“Moez Surani’s Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real is a brilliant collection of poetry that oscillates between rich insight and deep tenderness. A mesmerizing, beautiful book.” —Jordan Abel, Griffin Poetry Prize winning author of Injun
“Moez Surani has boundless enthusiasm for life, cities, nature, politics, and art. He is an explorer. Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real obsessively catalogues these explorations in an attempt to preserve our world, both personal and political, in its complexity. Surani leaves us a record of conversations, of the days he was in love, of the kilometers between himself and his ancestors, even of phone numbers to call for happiness. (I hope someone calls.) He chronicles the news of our time: KKK endorsements, Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, Yemeni refugees, the waning American empire.” —Ian Williams, author of Reproduction
“There’s a restless soul at the heart of this book, a twitchy guide, ill at ease in the world, someone whose words has me mumbling, “I know, I know.” He guides the reader across continents, in and out of kitchens, where we take comfort and tea with a companion we’ve found along the way. He invites us across various poetic terrains, too, so that the frustration teased out through a lyric flourish is on the next page put to bed in a poem concrete. The real river in these poems is a searching, a dedication to staying open to possibility with the hope that a better world might be, and it just might be poetry that helps us find it.” —Magdalena Zurawski, author of The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom
23 Collections of Canadian Poetry to Watch for this Fall —CBC Books
Most Anticipated: 2019 Fall Poetry Preview —49th Shelf
Moez Surani’s writing has been published internationally, including in Harper’s Magazine, the Awl, Best American Experimental Writing 2016, Best Canadian Poetry (2013 and 2014), and the Globe and Mail. He has received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, which supported research in India and East Africa, and has been an Artist-in-Residence in Burma, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Taiwan, Switzerland, as well as the Banff Centre for the Arts. He is the author of three poetry books: Reticent Bodies (2009), Floating Life (2012), and Operations (2016), which is comprised of the names of military operations and reveals a globe-spanning inventory of the contemporary rhetoric of violence. Surani lives in Toronto.
October 9, 2019 | Poetry
7.75 x 5.25 inches | 84 pages
Trade Paper: 9781771665384
Book*hug Press wishes to acknowledge the land on which it operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.