Please join us as we celebrate the release of Sham-e-Ali Nayeem’s City of Pearls (UpSet Press 2019) at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop with special guests Adeeba Talukder and Hollis Wong-Wear.
In her debut book City of Pearls, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem’s poetry offers a meditation on healing from grief. The poems ask the reader, what happens when we lose our anchor? Weaving together memories of her late father and ancestral home of Hyderabad, Nayeem’s poems explore landscapes of loss. She writes from the perspective of an Indian Muslim American who draws from the languages of her life to compose a poetics of vulnerability and tenderness. Known as the “City of Pearls,” Hyderabad’s jewels become a metaphor for resilience and growth. Each poem gains their opulence from the transmutation of the grit of migration, displacement and loss.
Sham-e-Ali Nayeem is a poet, visual artist and author of the poetry collection, City of Pearls (UpSet Press 2019). Born in Hyderabad, India and raised in both the UK and the US, she is a former public interest lawyer supporting economic justice for survivors of family and intimate partner violence. Sham-e-Ali is the recipient of the Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship.
Adeeba Shahid Talukder is the author of Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved, which is a winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press, and What Is Not Beautiful (Glass Poetry Press, 2018).
Hollis Wong-Wear is a songwriter, musician, speaker, creative generator and community advocate who lives in Los Angeles. She is the lead vocalist of the electronic R&B trio The Flavr Blue, and was GRAMMY-nominated for Album of the Year for her work with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on The Heist. She consults with artists and organizations frequently to produce meaningful work, and is currently working on her debut solo EP.