Jalal

A Woman Called Albatross: (Softcover: $15, 64pp, 6X9”: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-511-2; Hardcover: $30: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-512-9; EBook: $2.99: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-513-6; LCCN: 2019911696; Poetry—Subjects & Themes—Family; Release: August 28, 2019): studies the life of its speaker, a man who has been saved by art, just as his mother, nicknamed “Albatross,” is dying. The poems are narrative, confessional, and celebrate family and African American culture; they also investigate the pain of racial violence, the erotic lives of men, as well as exploring the visual arts and music.

The poet Jalal was born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in Ohio. He settled in Washington DC in 1993 and has lived there since. A Woman Called Albatross is his first collection of poetry.

“The poet known only as Jalal has published A Woman Called Albatross, his debut collection, but his work has wended a long way to arrive in these pages, which are rich with a journey through avenues and clubs, late night encounters, and the long climb upward to what can be called salvation, though in this poetry (as in the best poetry out of the, I’d say, medieval ballad tradition from which he composes) that redeeming love is found in giving it all away, in the care of others, particularly the speaker’s mother, a woman who (like the poet) goes only by a single name, Albatross. Against the structured hatred and unfairness of the world, Jalal has written a love poem to Love itself, and I celebrate him for his courage, his beautiful message of honest testimony, and of course for his talent, which is immense.” —David Keplinger, author of Another City

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