Weavers Press is thrilled to announce that Bark Archipelago, a collection of poetry by Sophia Naz, has arrived! You can get a copy if you are attending AWP 2023 in Seattle by visiting Weavers Press at table 326 of the Bookfair. It is also available for purchase from our online Bookshop (and other venues such as Small Press Distribution and Bookshop.org soon). Watch for updates and upcoming readings!
Words of praise for Bark Archipelago:
Reading these poems put me in the immediate mind of reading Harryette Mullen’s Muse and Drudge — these poems spin and spark, their language so playful and musical, filled with the energy of sound and motion. Lalla meets Eunice de Souza? An appropriate comparison. Combining the lush sensibility of the Urdu ghazal with the cosmopolitan epigrammatic crack of modern Indian English, Sophia Naz has written a masterful book. —Kazim Ali, author of Sukun: New and Selected Poems
Sophia Naz’s Bark Archipelago hits startling and giddy, inventive and destroyful. Sinewy lines of chime and pun, misdirection and feint make to paint grotesques. Excess tangled in loss, thus “everything will kill you,” even a lawn, even a length of fabric, even marriage. Naz pans slowly over the gory flensing of a whale and later breaks a human body into six members under twilight as gelatinous as blubber. This is a book of material, a broadside of extracted flesh and stone. Things. And the people who are made them. Material: the poet’s language itself should fill your mouth before you spill it into air like “windborne plastic bags”; till the thought-bubbles come, “taking up all the oxygen.” Yes: Bark Archipelago is breathless, racing to the line break before autocorrect can aggress or we wheel and deal the globe to our end.—Douglas Kearney, author of Sho
These mercurial poems—Sphinx-like, “s/addled” with the responsibility of a world in delirium — call in linkages and playful techniques that “rite, ignite” their way into renewal. Something “rubs” free in the space between languages and moves past the amnion to drop into an “unborn sea.” Pay attention. —Monica Mody, author of Kala Pani
Weavers Press is thrilled to announce that Moazzam Sheikh’s novella A Footbridge to Hell Called Love is now available! Visit our online bookshop to buy your copy directly from us.
Praise for A Footbridge to Hell Called Love:
“A romantic soul, Aslam is looking for love, intellectual connection, and writerly success in the Bohemian San Francisco at the turn of the 21st Century. Born in Pakistan and passionate about resisting oppression in all forms, he navigates a path uniquely his own in a racially and culturally mixed community. Moazzam Sheikh tells Aslam’s story with affection, tenderness, and good humor, leaving me with the sense of having made a new friend. I loved hanging out with Aslam and took down his book recommendations, too!”
– Olga Zilberbourg, author of Like Water and Other Stories
“Witty and wise, Sheikh’s novel follows the amorous adventures of Aslam Rana, adrift between women and literary rivalries in San Francisco– a comic yet probing tale of contemporary mores and the ultimate quest for connection.”
– Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
“Aslam is a practical romantic, an assimilating writer in love with movies and gossip, patrolling his landscape of shame with lustful thoughts. In pre-pandemic San Francisco, where people still go to parties and exchange pretentious intellectual chit-chat, Aslam finds himself on a digressive tour of sexual anxieties as the true target of his affection fades out time and again. I found the details of City landmarks and the dialogue so accurate at times, that I almost felt paranoid myself. Laugh and weep, or just keep turning the pages, but behind the words is a genuine paradox about finding your place.”
– David R. Lincoln, author of Mobility Lounge
Don’t forget to visit the Bookshop at Weavers Press to browse currently available titles including our previous title – Hero and Other Stories, a collection of short stories by Nadir Ali, translated from the Punjabi by Amna Ali and Moazzam Sheikh.
“Conflict, compassion, culture, cadence: at the heart of this epic collection is a maestro writing at multiple levels, each as precise, as cogent. To read Nadir Ali is to stumble onto a Manto or a Premchand: the same overwhelming pleasure, the same deep reverence!”
– Murzban F. Shroff, author of Breathless in Bombay, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, and Third Eye Rising
“Hero, is a collection of quick and fast paced short stories that read like character studies. The first person style of writing lets readers into the lives of dynamic and colorful characters. The poetic language lends depth to the narrative.”
– Stewart Shaw, author of House of Men: poems
“With this hypnotic collection, Nadir Ali conjures the lost art of truly immersive story-telling and reminds me why I fell in love with reading in the first place. These are settings, characters, and situations rarely seen in contemporary literature and woefully absent from the bookshelves of the English-speaking world, but they cry out to be known. Ali brings them unforgettably to life with empathy, wisdom, and subtle sensuality. These stories will haunt you in the best way.”
– Chaitali Sen, author of The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions) and A New Race of Men from Heaven (Sarabande Books), winner of Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction.
“Atmospheric and insightful, this collection of stories by Nadir Ali will often make you travel to the periphery — of location, society and perception. We see a failed hero’s unlikely majesty, a wronged prisoner’s sense of dignity, a washerman’s extraordinary compassion, the ever-looming shadow of Partition. Ali nudges us, with vivid prose, narrated in the style of quissas, to become interested in the bizarre complexities of our everyday lives. A whole new old-world opens up through the subtexts of this finely translated anthology.”
– Bhaswati Ghosh, author of Victory Colony, 1950 (Yoda Press)
“Nadir Ali’s stories about everyday, ordinary people are beguiling, first in the very deceptively ordinary way of their beginning. Then there are those sudden moments when you experience heart-stopping astonishment–things can change in the space of a sentence–or feel a sudden, magical understanding of other human lives lived in places far away, and yet complex and similar in recognizable ways. A man commits a murder, a sick boy can ‘travel’ the world in a moment, and an ordinary man can live a life of film star magnificence: these characters in Nadir Ali’s stories emerge in sentences, stark and pristine, with a gem-cut clarity. In the end, these stories, translated with great devotion by Amna Ali, will leave you with some heartbreaking empathy.”
– Anu Kumar, author of One Man, Many Lives (Simon and Schuster, India) The Hottest Summer in Years (Yoda Press) and A Sense of Time and Other Stories (Weavers Press), among others.
“What a beautiful collection of stories by Nadir Ali, in his book Hero and Other Stories. Such a pleasure to read the lyrical prose and come to learn about the rich lives of the characters as they build relationships with one another and navigate the world and customs around them.
– Devi Laskar, author of Circa (Mariner Books) and The Atlas of Reds and Blues (Counterpoint Press), among others.