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High Desert


High Desert is 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. 

This is Naffis-Sahely’s second collection, a gathering of portraits of promised lands and those who go in search of them: travelers, laborers, dreamers; the hopeful and the dispossessed. It includes poems from his recent pamphlet The Other Side of Nowhere (Rough Trade Books, 2019). 

Like all of his work, this books presents poetry as reportage, with reflections on class, race, and nationalism chart the region’s hidden histories from the Spanish Colonial Era to the recent pandemic. 

These poems revel in their rootlessness, as the author shifts his gaze outside of the US, traveling from Venice and Florence to Chittagong and St Petersburg, tackling our turbulent times and the depths of its problems in searing, extraordinary poems of witness and vision. 

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