Anis Shivani is a poet, fiction writer, and critic in Houston, Texas. His books are Anatolia and Other Stories (2009), Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies (2011), and The Fifth Lash and Other Stories (2012). His work appears in New York Quarterly, Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Boston Review, Iowa Review, Threepenny Review, and many other journals. A Pushcart Prize winner, he studied economics at Harvard College.
"My Tranquil War and Other Poems charts precisely how literature begets politics and empire becomes pariah via colony. Surrounded by canonical figures old and new, poet-provocateur Anis Shivani has written a book where best and worst are marked by their complicity."
"Anis Shivani careens among the idols and obelisks of twentieth-century culture like a maniacal bumper-car driver intent on smashing art and politics both into submission. There is hardly a stanza ... that does not take aim at an iconic filmmaker, painter, politician, novelist, or fellow poet, and hardly a poem that misses its mark."
"This is daring poetry, critical, a history of art and war in the modern age, it's 'man read[ing] man to swallow him whole.' Anis Shivani tempts you to call him by a name you think you already know, as his poetry shifts you from Robinson Crusoe to Robert Creeley, Dean Young to Virginia Woolf, Stalin to Fellini. There is a multitude of voices here, a history of a voice perhaps, documentary and fiction, writing his own language which is also ours."
"My Tranquil War is alert to both the inspiriting and darker consequences of culture on every continent and in a vast range of traditions. I admire this book’s deep concern with how warfare, brutality, and mass crime corrode the imagination and strangle humanity. My Tranquil War makes the case, again and again, that it is the responsibility of poetry to confront state madness and human violence with intelligence and acuity."
My Tranquil War and Other Poems