Winner of the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry
The poems in Port of Being hold modern technology—surveillance, shipping, the Internet—to examine communication, migration, and identity. Preoccupied with the city, virtuality, reflexivity, and the ways we watch ourselves, Shazia Hafiz Ramji’s debut collection hums with wonder as it probes the human and non-human actors in our mouths and bodies, above and underneath the water, in the satellites and fibre optic cables that surround us all.
Shazia Hafiz Ramji was a finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards, received the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2016 National Magazine Awards. Her writing has appeared in Quill & Quire, Canadian Literature, The Puritan, and Metatron’s ALPHA and OMEGA. She lives in Vancouver where she works as an editor and teaches creative writing. She is at work on a book of stories and a second book of poems.
“Port of Being by Shazia Hafiz Ramji, is a revelation: one that reveals the surface beneath the surface, and the uncertain in the overdetermined. If the city is a machine of social sublimation, then these poems are the glint of its gears. Ramji demonstrates with devastating energy how form (and/or your soul) is infrastructure. You could drown in the static of our times, or you could traverse it like an ocean. Port of Being is an ingenious manual, in verse, for how to do the latter.” – Wayde Compton