André Naffis-Sahely's High Desert in The Guardian
'This is fierce writing too: litanies of the lost, dispatches from desperate outposts and borders... in an inert and supine world, these are impeccably upright poems.' - David Wheatley, The Guardian
Andre Naffis-Sahely is a poet, editor and translator whose second collection High Desert was published by Bloodaxe in June 2022. He gave pre-publication readings from the collection at StAnza and Newcastle Poetry Festivals in March and May 2022. A video of his joint live-streamed launch event of 21 June is below.
High Desert is a psychedelic journal of end-times and an ode to the American Southwest. Exploring such key events as the First Red Scare, the Tulsa Race Massacre and the West Coast’s wildfire epidemic, Naffis-Sahely’s reflections on class, race, and nationalism chart the region’s hidden histories from the Spanish Colonial Era to the recent pandemic.
David Wheatley's review of High Desert in The Guardian best recent poetry round-up of 2 July 2022 is here.
'As landscapes go, deserts are more interchangeable than most, and Naffis-Sahely’s visions of dereliction are eerily arid and universal at once. Identities are layered one on top of another as the poet moves from continent to continent... This is fierce writing too: litanies of the lost, dispatches from desperate outposts and borders... in an inert and supine world, these are impeccably upright poems.' - David Wheatley, The Guardian (best recent poetry round-up)
'André Naffis-Sahely’s compelling and deeply researched second collection begins in California but blossoms into a globally engaged meditation on history, migration, inclusion, and justice. Drawing on found text from diaries to academic manuscripts and traversing across North America, Europe, and Asia, High Desert is at once humble and unafraid.' - Maggie Wong, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Summer 2022
An in-depth interview with André Naffis-Sahely was featured on DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts) ahead of his reading at StAnza International Poetry Festival in March 2022.
Poetry as Acts of Resistance: An Interview with André Naffis-Sahely: read the interview here.
André Naffis-Sahely talked to Nathalie Handal for Words Without Borders about the hidden histories and iconic writers of Los Angeles. Read the interview here.
A poem from the collection was featured in the May/June 2022 issue of The London Magazine and on their website here.
JOINT LIVESTREAMED LAUNCH EVENT
Andre Naffis-Sahely read alongside Anne Rouse and Thomas Lynch at this joint Bloodaxe online launch event. This took place on Tuesday 21 June 2022, 7pm, and is now available to watch on YouTube.
[02 July 2022]