Dilruba Ahmed’s debut book, Dhaka Dust, won the Bakeless Prize for Poetry, awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Blackbird, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Ahmed is the recipient of the Florida Review’s Editors’ Award and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize.
This collection juxtaposes text from Google Search autocomplete with the intimate language of prayer. Corporate jargon coexists with the incantatory and ancient ghazal form. Ahmed’s second book of poetry explores the terrain of loss—of a beloved family member, of human dignity and potential, of the earth as it stands, of hope. Her poems weave mourning with the erratic process of healing, skepticism with an unsteady attempt to regain faith. With poems that are by turns elegiac, biting, and tender, Bring Now the Angels conveys a desire to move toward transformation and rebirth, even among seemingly insurmountable obstacles: chronic disease, corporate greed, environmental harm, and a general atmosphere of anxiety and violence.
…They are turning their locks
to paint their faces
and their daughters’ faces.
They look on as the girls regard
their eyes in mirrors, in the long
cracked mirror of history, and war.
They paint themselves into existence
inside the shuttered rooms
of their hearts, where freedom