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Nazar Boy
poems

From one of the most imaginative and radical voices in contemporary poetry, a debut collection of fierce tenderness, political acuity, and powerful lyricism.

Tarik Dobbs’s work explores surveillance, queerness, disability, race, and working-class identity in post-9/11 America. As an Arab American writer, Dobbs is achingly familiar with the power dynamics, violence, and capitalistic undercurrents woven through the language of the colonizer. They challenge this power in visual, free-verse, and formally intense poems—both traditional and innovative—that stretch the elasticity of borders, verbs, images, redactions, and more. Ranging from sonnets to concrete poems, Nazar Boy is visually stimulating, thought-provoking, emotionally wrenching, and exquisitely crafted.

Dobbs’ poems blur and collapse narrative distances within and between places, from the Levant to Michigan, and break down dichotomies portrayed in Western media: between Arabness and whiteness, intellectualism and the working poor, Muslimness and queerness, disability and desire. By turns irreverent and serenely gentle, Dobbs calls us to speak, to dream, and to imagine beyond those distances so that we might speak, dream, and imagine better versions of ourselves, our relationships to each other, and our places in the world.