Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Bloodaxe Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. After working for many years as a secondary school teacher in London, she is now a freelance writer and tutor, and lives in Wymondham, Norfolk. All her poetry is published by Bloodaxe. Her most recent titles are Fairoz (2022), Blackbird, Bye Bye (2018); her book-length poem, At the Time of Partition (2013); Homesick for the Earth, her versions of the French poet Jules Supervielle (2011); Europa (2008); and Split World: Poems 1990-2005 (2008), which includes poems from her five previous collections, The Country at My Shoulder (1993), A Bowl of Warm Air (1996), Carrying My Wife (2000), Souls (2002) and How the Stone Found Its Voice (2005). The Country at My Shoulder was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Whitbread poetry prizes, and Carrying My Wife was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Europa and At the Time of Partition were selected as Poetry Book Society Choices in 2008 and 2013 respectively and both were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Moniza Alvi received a Cholmondeley Award in 2002. A collection of her poems was published in Italy by Donzelli Editore in their Poesia series in 2014, Un mondo diviso, translated by Paola Splendore.


"She is a skilled storyteller, recounting the extraordinary in the voice of the everyday, so that we accept the miraculous as something we need... the overriding impression is of a deft, restrained language carrying ideas with a metaphysical wit and seriousness."--Leonie Rushforth "London Magazine"
"One of the few British Poets whose work could currently be described as essential reading, not least as we try to grasp what fractures of cultural difference might have contributed to the July 7 bombings."--Tim Robertson "Magma"
"Europa made the most difference to me as a writer. It showed me one way of writing about trauma and violence, how to circle around a central concern and explore it from different angles [...] when I came to write my own poetry about violence I returned to this collection many times to study how it had been done before."--Kim Moore "The North"
"As in her previous collections, Alvi probes the subject of dual-heritage, and the challenges and successes of living in between two countries. Concerned with borders of all kinds, Blackbird, Bye Bye also imaginatively treads the line between life and death... a tender exploration of the world and human nature, which recognizes 'the carnage, the onslaught/ of the centuries' while managing to find solace in the redemptive powers of art, language and the natural world"--Sarala Estruch "The Telegraph"
"The poems unfold like scenes in a play, and Alvi seems to borrow the idea of a Greek chorus to create the cultural background through lines spoken by unnamed people... Fairoz is a fictional character, yet the questions raised are a reminder of how easily the vulnerable are preyed upon...a testimony to how powerfully poetry can allow the marginalised to have voices." - Mary Mulholland, The Alchemy Spoon
"Moniza Alvi's new collection Fairoz is a book length piece which focuses entirely on one young woman's encounters with those attempting to radicalise her through online contact... This brave, powerful and important book completely gripped me and I read it in twenty four hours... A tour-de-force." - Sue Dymoke, Sue Dymoke Poetry

"The dramatisation of the human story is brilliant, and the fact it makes such harsh and disturbing reading is a mark of Moniza Alvi's genius in bringing such a harrowing story to life. The poems, stark and carefully crafted, show how global politics filter down into the minutiae of all our lives, in extreme form here in a tale about religious extremism, but present everywhere... All in all, I found Fairoz a disturbingly unforgettable collection, so powerfully done as the girl moves from one story of estrangement into another." - Rosie Jackson, The High Window

'In its depiction of Fairoz's inner voice and life the book reveals the conflict between haven and exile, heaven and purgatory. It's a study in displacement, the process of exclusion and the desire to belong, to be beloved and accepted... This extended long poem form permits multiple perspectives, resisting answers to the questions posed by its protagonists and instead offering its readers twisting 'dark pathways' and more questions.' - Lucy Sheerman, Long Poem Magazine