Quarantine with Rilke

“One of the most exciting and necessary collections published late last year and forthcoming in 2022″ — MS. MAGAZINE

Quarantine with Rilke presents isolation as the defining condition of modernity, but Asnia Asim’s is a richly provisioned isolation filled with echoes of the poets, intimations of lives conjured from behind apartment walls and train windows, haptic memories of childhood, and sensual longing for the touch and smell of a lover’s body and the scents of distant cities. These poems’ beautifully-cut lines make a friend of silence and loneliness through startling shifts of scale and transpositions, as though a spiritual practice; galaxies open out within. Asnia Asim succeeds in making quarantine ecstatic. –JOHN WILKINSON, author of Lyric in Its Times

“I twist. No matter what, I am / in the posture of embrace,” writes Asnia Asim in Quarantine with Rilke, and indeed, these poems exult in and are heavy with their constant project of embrace. They long for strangers, who exist through a telescope, simultaneously distant and close, out-of-reach and already internalized. They speak to the beloved with the intense intimacy of absence. They offer compassion in their critiques. And they struggle to lift off into the holy amid the quiet pulsing tug of the everyday—such that they never leave behind the crises, burdens, and tedium of the here and now in searching for the sacred. –ARIANA NADIA NASH, Philip Levine prize winning author of Instructions for Preparing Your Skin

available for purchase here