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Pilgrim Bell: Poems Paperback – Import, 3 August 2021

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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“Kaveh Akbar shapes language into prayer, into body, into patchwork ― clarifying only what can be known." ―NPR.org

“[Pilgrim Bell] is bracing in its honesty and noteworthy in its steadfast adherence to finding the spiritual in even the most mundane settings. Akbar’s mesmerizing dexterity with language is at its most compelling when he is relentlessly pursuing the truth―a hunt that’s present in every poem in this volume.”―TIME

“[Kaveh] Akbar is exquisitely sensitive to how language can function as both presence and absence. . . . His practice of taking language apart, and harnessing the empty space around it, makes even the most familiar words seem eerie and unexpected.”―The New Yorker

“Emphatic and honest. . . . Perfect on the page, the voice and personality of each poem are thoroughly, itchingly alive, with an intimacy that, for all its naked self-revelation, feels bound to be engaged in the work of nations.”World Literature Today

“This is the invitation Pilgrim Bell extends: to join a conversation in which violence interrupts beauty and beauty interrupts violence, in which doubt interrupts faith and faith interrupts doubt, in which difference interrupts shared humanity and shared humanity interrupts difference, ad infinitum, as well they must.”―Ploughshares

“Lyrical, profound, and honest, the kind of collection to which a reader will return.”―Library Journal, starred review

“Rich and moving. . . . This impressive, thoughtful work shimmers with inventive syntax and spiritual profundity.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Incandescent. . . . [Pilgrim Bell] illuminates questions of divinity and language in swift, surprising lyrics.”―Booklist, starred review

Pilgrim Bell is a book that chooses honesty over beauty, which makes it a breathtaking text.”―Hanif Abdurraqib

“Kaveh Akbar is truly a great writer, and his new collection Pilgrim Bell is a marvel. Like his previous work, it dazzles us. . . . He is incapable of setting down a line that’s less than luminous. Pilgrim Bell is destined to become a classic, another blazing torch added to the eternal flames.”―Mary Karr

“Kaveh Akbar is the sorcerer’s sorcerer, masterful in the way he wields language for us, for these poems, to sound his Pilgrim Bell. Profound and singular, smart and sad and funny, but most of all truth’s beauty and beauty’s truth sung. . . . We need Pilgrim Bell. We need Kaveh Akbar.”―Tommy Orange

“Working at and along the outer edges of language, Pilgrim Bell calls us to attention and to attend to that which poetry and prayer share, while simultaneously demanding that we tend to the political, the social, the erotic―all that is quotidian and human. Persimmons and empire; saffron and refugee camps; exile, oleander, and the Rolling Stones―all the stuff of poetry. And of prayer. In Pilgrim Bell, the poet Kaveh Akbar, ‘God’s incarnate spit in the mud,’ takes us down to the ground, to the prosaic, the dismissed and overlooked, the better to talk to the great Silence, bearer of many names including that of God.”―M. NourbeSe Philip

About the Author

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf and has received honors such as a Levis Reading Prize and multiple Pushcart Prizes. Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in low-residency programs at Warren Wilson and Randolph Colleges.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Graywolf Press (3 August 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 80 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1644450593
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1644450598
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 136 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.79 x 0.6 x 22.56 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

About the author

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Kaveh Akbar's poems appear in the New Yorker, Paris Review, the New York Times, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. He is the author of two books of poetry—Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf 2021) and Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James 2017), and the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry 2016)—and the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse. Born in Tehran, Iran, Kaveh teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph and Warren Wilson college. Currently, he serves as Poetry Editor for The Nation.

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Michael Walter
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Bending
Reviewed in the United States on 12 September 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Bending
Reviewed in the United States on 12 September 2021
I don’t read a lot of books of poetry but I’m damn glad I read this one.

I’d learned about Kaveh Akbar from the Paris Review and picked up this book. His writing is brilliant. His imagery, sublime. His poetry, at turns gut-wrenching and beautiful. I read each poem twice, some three times, and found something new with every read. I love how Akbar at once celebrates and also questions institutions like religion, parenting and America. In feeling closer to his father, I also became closer to my own.

If you’re up for something different, something a little nonlinear, I’d highly recommend this.
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Heather Derr-Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars One of our greatest young poets
Reviewed in the United States on 23 August 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of our greatest young poets
Reviewed in the United States on 23 August 2021
I love this book so much. definitely one of my new all time favorites. Kaveh Akbar is truly a gift. One of the best young poets of his generation.

"I am present and useless like a nose torn
from a face and set in a bowl when
I saw God I used the wrong pronouns
God bricked up my mouthhole
his fists were white as gold there were
roaches in my beard now I live like a widow" --"Vines"
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Don Burnett
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Collection
Reviewed in the United States on 26 October 2021
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