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Safia Jama (Author)

Crowded House

Crowded House

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Beltway Editions
6 X 9 in
90 pg

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Like a Viewfinder with overlapping reels, Safia Jama examines the way inherited trauma--her parents and brother fleeing military dictatorship in Somalia--can overlay the present day: "when my husband and I parted/ways,it seemed natural to me to pacck, as if, for a day trip/telling no one save two friends."  As a new life comes into focus, the speaker of the poems turns her attention to the tiny theater of "my small room"--"gazing out the window: I call it windowing" and marveling at bathroom mold that looks like Charles Bronson. The poems in Crowded House captivatingly delve into the complexities of the self and what constitutes home. -- Matthea Harvey.

Safia Jama uses the poetic line in "weird combinations of extravagance/and asceticism" to unearth new glimpses of why human beings act--and dream--as they do.  - Sandra Lim

Safia Jama's Crowded House is a simmering debut... - Donika Kelly

In her recuperation of the house as an organizing conceit, Jama demonstrates what..Gaston Bachelard might describe as "the topography of our intimate being;" she interrogates photographs and moments recalled, experienced in her apartment, "the house" is populated by specters, spirits living in relation to our speaker, agents each that urge reconsideration of our world, conditioning her observation and sensibilities.-  Joey De Jesus

Safia Jama
Author Bio

Safia Jama was born to a Somali father and an Irish American mother in Queens, New York. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, she has published poetry in Ploughshares, Boston Review, World Literature Today, Prairie Schooner, and Poem-a-Day. Her poetry has also been featured on WNYC's Morning Edition and CUNY TV's Shades of US series. Jama is the author of Notes on Resilience, included in the New Generation African Poets Chapbook box set (Akashic Books, 2020). She is a lecturer in the English Department of Baruch College, City University of New York.