Uzmah Ali

Breathe Before Thought (2020)

£8.00

With scalpel-sharp lyricism and resonant silence,  Uzmah Ali’s debut pamphlet offers graceful pause for not just reflection, but insight: into the rich yet sometimes painful nature of cultural hybridity, the enduring legacies of historical injustice, and the possibilities of growth held in each eloquent moment. 

 

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Praise and Poems

It would be a shame if this collection’s up-to-the-moment themes of identity and acute socio-political observance were recognised at the expense of the poetry itself. Uzmah Ali’s pared-down, concise line can contain and expand on the excellence of hyphens, the sensual nature of pomegranates, Marx and MFI linoleum . . . thus a rich seam is mined between difference and belonging, between joyful frisson and estrangement, with an Imagist’s precision.    ― Matthew Caley

Uzmah Ali’s stunning debut collection journeys through memory and time, from Welsh suburbs to the cities and villages of Pakistan. Her reflections on nation, faith, and the timeless question of where ‒ and how ‒ we belong, make her a powerful new voice in British poetry.    ― Shahnaz Ahsan

This is a delicately poised, powerful collection. Uzmah never fails to face painful subjects head on. These poems intrigue and enfold the reader in a literary universe teetering between history, mythology, religion and contemporary life. The poems are hard hitting, and some of their potency is in their ostensible simplicity, which belies a sophisticated erudition.    ― Nicki Heinen

 

Stone Circles

One day, my beginning will be
as ancient as the rings of stones
that dot my green nation.

 

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