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City of Rivers

Zubair Ahmed

72 pages
Mcsweeney's Literary Arts Fund

We used to play soccer in the monsoon rains.
Through my windows, I can see acres of fields,
Lying in the ruins of the wind.

The poems in City of Rivers?the first full-length collection from 23-year-old wunderkind Zubair Ahmed?are clear and cool as a glass of water. Grounded in his childhood in Bangladesh, Ahmed’s spare, evocative poems cast a knowing eye on the wider world, telling us what it’s like to be displaced and replaced, relocated and dislocated. His poems are suffused with a graceful, mysterious pathos?and also with joy, humor, and longing?with the full range of human emotions. City of Rivers is a remarkable and precocious debut.