What People are saying about this
Winner of the 2003 Spokane Prize for Poetry
In his first book, Naveed Alam has managed a dangerously strange journey
into the dream lives of the condemned, the oppressed, the prodigal, and
the lost. With remarkable clarity he shows us the father whose tears flood
the street, the prostitute for whom every customer is Jesus, the angels of
desolation who tear off their own wings. In its exotic violence and
beauty, its surreal narrative and unwavering honesty, this collection
brings something new to our poetry: a clear view of dispossession coupled
with the terrors and wonders of the inner life.
Naveed Alam was born in Pakistan and educated in Alabama, Minnesota, and
Oregon. He lives in New York City where he works for the Asian Pacific
Islander Coalition on HIV and AIDS.
"A Queen of No Ordinary Realms expresses not just the imagination of exile, which is always exotic and provocative, but it champions the exiled imagination that must create its own world to survive. When every facet of experience and emotion becomes estranged, Alam knows that only imagination can energize 'The immense barren syllables' of language . . . "
"Naveed Alam's realms emerge from ancient, courtly poetic traditions of the Middle East to speak for the transnational twenty-first century. The personae of the poems move through a global marginalized world that stretches from the Silk Road to cyberspace, from the seraglios of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights to the slums of the Developing World. The poet's uncanny ability to mythologize the everyday mysteries of human relationships transforms these poems into a haunting Book of Journeys in which safari is the steady state and wandering is a permanent address."