Review: 99 Names of Exile, Kaveh Bassiri (Newfound Poetry)

Kaveh Bassiri explores the politics of home and the origins of identity in 99 Names of Exile, winner of 2018’s Newfound Poetry Chapbook Prize.

This is a work of tender vulnerability, offering a glimpse of deeply personal stories through the abstraction of metaphor. Pain is met with resigned compassion as Bassiri weaves stories of culture and family between scenes of distance and longing, reaching a balance that is both beautiful and accessible.

There are moments of true magnificence in this work.

What if we’re the impulses

of some inner ear in a bony labyrinth

and it isnt you and I dying

but our words

You As An Understudy, 99 Names of Exile, Kaveh Bassiri

99 Names of Exile is available from Newfound.