Rain and Embers by Ali Nuri

Poetry is never a quick read for me and if a collection is not compelling there is a high risk that I’m not able to hold my interest. This book however I was able to finish over many days. There is a sense of narrative in the intimate glimpses into the poet’s life, feelings, and thoughts.

One important aspect of his life is that he is an Iraqi refugee. With the politicized debate on refugees and immigrants, depending on your political leaning, some may not even give this a chance. Or some might argue this work is important because of political reasons. But I would say this misses the point.

I am not a refugee, nor of the same religion or race, and our beginnings are worlds apart but I resonated with much of this work. The sense of not belonging here or there, childhood trauma, religion, isolation, being silenced, finding love, even musings on our technology and earth. Ali Nuri’s beautiful artwork is a bonus. 

Despite differences in the details, it reminds us we are not alone.

Thank you for sharing your voice.

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