André Naffis-Sahely

The Promised Land
  • The Promised Land

  • While half the world swept west,
    we trickled eastward, one by one,
    single-file, like fugitives. Next stop:
    Abu Dhabi, where my father had a job,

    and money, for the first time in years . . .

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    Flitting from the mud-soaked floors of Venice to the glittering, towering constructions of the Abu Dhabi of his childhood and early adulthood, from present-day London to North America, André Naffis-Sahely's bracingly plain-spoken first collection gathers portraits of promised lands and those who go in search of them: labourers, travellers, dreamers; the hopeful and the dispossessed.

    'Naffis-Sahely's poems usher the reader in to a world of reversals and risk . . . His narratives hold memory to account'
    DAVID HARSENT

André Naffis-Sahely was born in Venice in 1985 to an Iranian father and an Italian mother, but raised in Abu Dhabi. His poetry has been featured in Ambit, Areté, The Best British Poetry 2014 (Salt), New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015), PN Review and Swimmers, among others, and his nonfiction writing has appeared in such publications as the Economist, The Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman and The White Review. He has been awarded fellowships from bodies including MacDowell Colony and Dar al-Ma'mûn. He is also a literary translator from the Italian and the French; his Selected Poems of Abdellatif Laâbi, winner of a PEN Translates award, was published by Carcanet in 2016.