Hardback
September 1, 2009
9780819569165
English
112
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.75 Pounds (US)
$25.00 USD, £18.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 1, 2010
9780819569936
9780819569165
English
112
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$12.99 USD, £9.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
August 15, 2012
9780819572769
English
112
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.45 Pounds (US)
$15.95 USD, £11.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Bright Felon

Autobiography and Cities

Eloquent intercultural coming-of-age story

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. A reader's companion is available at http://brightfelonreader.site.wesleyan.edu/

About the Author

KAZIM ALI is the author of two books of poetry, The Far Mosque (2004) and The Fortieth Day (2008). He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College and teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the University of Southern Maine. He is one of the founding editors of Nightboat Books.

Reviews

"Ali, journeying backwards through autobiography, writes an elegy for lost love and unrequited faith—another kind of exile."—Lori Tsang, MultiCultural Review

"Bright Felon is a troubling work of unrelieved sadness and relentless self-examination and yet, for all that, it is also a monument to a yearning for oblivion, a desire so unimpeachable at its center it reminds us that there are no happy endings—only intervals of relief."—Tyrone Williams, The Volta

"The speed and energy of this language, and its confident movement, are undeniable and compelling.There is a lovely plenitude in the embroidery woven out of these journeys, inner and outerthe rich and nuanced tracings of contemporary experience Ali offers here are reward enough."—Jeff Gundy, The Georgia Review

"Ali, journeying backwards through autobiography, writes an elegy for lost love and unrequited faith—another kind of exile."—Lori Tsang, MultiCultural Review

"The pleasure of reading Bright Felon derives in large part from its invitation to us to give ourselves over to the music of language."—Lee Sharkey, Beloit Poetry Journal

Endorsements

"Bright Felon will steal your heart and outrage your poetics. Part memoir, part trip book, part literary discourse, there is in it an urgent sense of a life lived in words. The tale is one of both innocence and experience. Rigorous, romantic, experimental, true, and yet mysterious, it is a book for the ages."—Laura Moriarty, author of A Semblance: Selected and New Poems, 1975–2007

"Kazim Ali writes in Bright Felon a prose shaped by the various cities he has lived and loved in. This is a book that is so much more than memoir or autobiography. It is embodied and questioning and it carries through its politics a grace and generosity."—Juliana Spahr, author of Fuck You, Aloha, I Love You
Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819569165 : bright-felon-ali
Hardback
112 Pages
$25.00 USD
9780819569936 : bright-felon-ali
Electronic book text
112 Pages
$12.99 USD
9780819572769 : bright-felon-ali
Paperback / softback
112 Pages
$15.95 USD

Other Titles by Kazim Ali

Sukun

Kazim Ali
Sep 2023 - Wesleyan University Press
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$28.00 USD - Paperback / softback

North American Women Poets in the 21st Century

edited by Lisa Sewell, Kazim Ali
Feb 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$85.00 USD - Hardback
$27.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$22.99 USD - Electronic book text

Inquisition

Kazim Ali
Mar 2018 - Wesleyan University Press
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$12.99 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles from Wesleyan Poetry Series

Room Swept Home

Remica Bingham-Risher
Feb 2024 - Wesleyan University Press
$26.00 USD - Hardback
$21.99 USD - Downloadable audio file

Be Brave to Things

Jack Spicer, edited by Daniel Katz
Oct 2023 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$27.99 USD - Electronic book text
$26.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Ruins of Nostalgia

Donna Stonecipher
Oct 2023 - Wesleyan University Press
$28.00 USD - Hardback
$16.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in POETRY / General

Winter Fruit

Dale B.J. Randall
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Feeding the Ghosts

Rahul Mehta
Mar 2024 - University Press of Kentucky
$44.95 USD - Hardback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Safety of Small Things

Jane Hicks
Jan 2024 - Fireside Industries, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky
$29.95 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback