Theme Speaker 2022

Question the Unquestionable and Answer the Unanswerable

Kazim Ali  will be our Theme Speaker in 2022 at CalU.    The title of Kazim‘s highly-anticipated series of talks is “Questioning the Unquestionable, Answering the Unanswerable.”   Kazim will help us grapple with the Big Questions, lead us into reveries and toward new insights, and strengthen us with the superpowers of poetry and love. Kazim read some of his work at CERSI 2021 online.  His presentation can be found here. 

Kazim was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including the volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohio- ana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Cal- ligriphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is also an accomplished translator (of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others) and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. After a career in public policy and organizing, Ali taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light.