Poetry. Winner of the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Voyeurism and fact go head to head in PORT OF BEING, a debut poetry collection that mines speech from the city streets and the Internet. These are poems set firmly on the threshold of the private and public, the future-haunted and the real, forging the human adrift in a terrain of space junk, drones, and addiction. PORT OF BEING speaks just in time, navigating the worlds of surveillance, migration, and money, only to carve a way into intimacy and connection.
"PORT OF BEING by Shazia Hafiz Ramji, is a revelation: one that reveals the surface beneath the surface, and the uncertain in the overdetermined. If the city is a machine of social sublimation, then these poems are the glint of its gears. Ramji demonstrates with devastating energy how form is infrastructure. You could drown in the static of our times, or you could traverse it like an ocean. PORT OF BEING is an ingenious manual, in verse, for how to do the latter."—Wayde Compton
"Like a section of ocean caught, cubed, and shot through with the light of our closest star, Shazia Hafiz Ramji's PORT OF BEING moves with and against time and borders. Her poems surveil what's witnessed and what we admit to witnessing, the secrets we tell and those we keep, and the questions: why and for whose benefit? In equal measures, this book is bioluminescent, galactic, humane. Daring and intimate, it holds worlds."—Dani Couture
"Like Teju Cole, Shazia Hafiz Ramji presents a city in full intricacy: the expansive possibilities of human connection and the digital silos that separate. Like Solmaz Sharif, she teaches us to look at violence: the quotidian bedrooms, buses, and spaces in which it is experienced, the ideologies that allow for its transmission. PORT OF BEING is urgent and uncomfortable, comforting and necessary."—Benjamin Hertwig
"Shazia Hafiz Ramji writes with an intimacy that echoes the unspoken familiar across the ocean to map us—to 'root and hold' us—right now, right here where we live. PORT OF BEING is a collection of keen listening, where words are found, spliced, and always woven with sunshine, pain, and memory that shimmers."—Juliane Okot Bitek
Feature @ MediumInterview with Tamara Jong
Shazia Hafiz Ramji was a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards, received the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2016 National Magazine Awards. Her writing has appeared in Quill & Quire, Canadian Literature, The Puritan, and Metatron's ALPHA and OMEGA. She lives in Vancouver where she works as an editor and teaches creative writing. She is at work on a book of stories and a second book of poems.Author City: VANCOUVER, BC CAN