Some poetry has a sophisticated urgency that it comes across like news; news of the real excited world and news of how we arrange the past into a shaping future. I love Amaan Hyder’s debut collection for its insights into East-West lives, into how families deal with their heritage, how violence is a militating force and how poetry is its own sweet fruit of peace. Hyder’s poetry is fleet of foot, restless in its inquiry through form and memorable for its subtle music.
Hyder's sure art seeks out surprising clashes of image and language to evoke a world of migrant families and generational conflict ... It's a subtly musical debut.
Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Sunday Times
Amaan Hyder's At Hajj
is a deeply involving, quietly moving and admirable collection... His work can make a simple, shop-soiled phrase as sharp as a physical shock. This is a poetry of survival.
Alison Brackenbury, Poetry London
Hyder expertly conjures up the Hajj in a deeply immersive experience wherein one's emotional, physical and spiritual relationship to another human being is rendered in a series of dreamlike recollections strung between reality and myth.
Mary Jean Chan, The Poetry Review
is an original and personal meditation on the interplay between religion, family and tradition ... Hyder’s ability to transport the reader with a unique imagination and subtlety of detail is juxtaposed with comical assertions.
Poetry Book Society
Hyder’s ability to convey meaning tonally and atmospherically is truly remarkable... At Hajj
is intelligent, kind and resolute in its politics, curious, precise and inventive in its aesthetics. It’s a book worth spending time over, worth keeping in mind.
These are poems which will work on the reader long after they’ve read them, they are both troubling and uplifting in the sense that they offer us a message of empathy and solidarity that is more necessary than ever right now.
Richie McCaffery, The Poetry School
is a window onto the dynamic landscape of the pilgrimage, its multiple voices and refusal to oversimplify at once a triumph of drawing the reader in, and acknowledging the inevitable boundary at the window ledge. These are poems of intense perception and emotion in which the recurrent feeling of disorientation – at times the reader’s, the poet’s, the characters’, or all three – echoes and explores the interstitial spaces between East and West and the challenges of navigating a multicultural identity.
Jack Caithness, Stride