Kill me, skin whispers / to arctic bone, / I’m finished / with this disguise…
So begins the poem Blue Ampersand in Djelloul Marbrook’s tenth collection of poems, Singing in the O of Not, songs of algebraic obliteration in which our identities dissolve in the grandeur of a cosmic whole. Algebra, al jabara, means the joining in Arabic, and here the singer sings himself into divine invisibility.
Djelloul Marbrook’s previous works have won critical acclaim and prestigious prizes, including the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, the 2010 International Book Award in poetry, and the 2008 Literal Latté fiction prize. As a journalist, poet, writer and activist, he has invested his talent and intellect in an artistic voice exemplifying the best qualities of humanity. Through an engaging, well-reasoned and powerfully clear voice, he gives flight to a spiritual awakening and casts a wise shadow on the canon of American poetry.