Bitter English


Ahmad Almallah


University of Chicago Press

“Finely crafted debut collection . . . . From his citizenship interview to a final meditation on the past as he asks his daughter to repeat her sentences in Arabic, Almallah’s poetry-cum-memoir doesn’t shout but with pointed, persistent, limpid lines minimized to the very essence sums up loss and fractured identity as sharply as any jeremiad.” — Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

“Almallah explores the themes of family, home and identity in fluid language. The free verse of the poems allows for a deeper exploration of the construction of culture. . . . In accessible verse, Bitter English brings to the forefront the displacement in every aspect of the immigrant experience, and Almallah’s distinctive voice manages to put this ineffable experience into words.” — Michelle Anya Anjirbag, Shelf Awareness

“Ahmad Almallah’s Bitter English is a book of prismatic pulsations writ against moving backgrounds. These counterpaeans are balm to the exiled and grieving—and to all of us newly arriving.” — Charles Bernstein