Poetry. Longlisted for the 2020 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection. Salat, or salah, means prayer in Arabic. In SALAT, the structure of prayer is transformed into poetic form free from the narrow strictures of Muslim and non-Muslim minds. At the most basic level, these poems interrogate coming of age as a Muslim immigrant boy in post-9/11 America. These poems take us from classrooms to hotel pools, corner stores to airports, playgrounds to dream states in order to pose questions and reassemble memories about place, belonging, alienation. This collection is less a statement on parenthood, state violence, racism, and disenfranchisement so much as a prayer hovering over it all, hoping against hope that the incantation might be enough to sustain us.
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