City of Rivers was nominated for a Northern California Book Award in Poetry!

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.

Zubair is making appearances throughout the Bay Area! Check out his events here

Read an excerpt from the book right here, and the author Q&A right here.

Praise for City of Rivers:

“I would follow this poet down any hallway in the world.”
—Matthew Dickman

“[Ahmed is] inspiring and impressive as a writer and as a human being. [His poetry] is like a hardy transplantable medicine that can grow along any river or sidewalk city of the world—healing and elevating the bridge that links civilization and their very souls.”
—Karen Minzer

“Writing as assured as Ahmed’s ought to be celebrated.”
The Rumpus

“From a rich cultural swirl of history, heritage, and family, Zubair Ahmed’s poems have emerged, each one a dance in itself with memory and myth, a celebration of the author’s birthright in the age-old tradition of storytelling.”

“[Ahmed’s] poems are packed with metaphor and feeling that make your heart fall into your stomach and your mind spin with creative delight.”
Chico News & Review

“City of Rivers captures the reader’s heart from its first line to its last.”

“A startling first collection of poems.”
Shelf Awareness

“The collection stands out most for the slim and backlit images, the stripped-down lines and shadows…Such work looks back productively to the American Deep Image style of the 1960s, to James Wright and the young Robert Bly. Even a poem that begins with a named location— ‘I Close My Eyes and Find Myself in the Exact Center of Dhaka’—gives itself over quickly to the biggest aspirations and the smallest words.”
Publishers Weekly

“We cannot deny that [Ahmed] speaks on his own terms, without embellishment or pretense, and that alone makes for compelling poetry.”