"Queer Faith": A Discussion and Poetry Reading Featuring Kazim Ali

The Georgia Review will celebrate the launch of its Winter 2019 issue by hosting a reading and discussion centered on the theme “queer faith.” Internationally renowned writer Kazim Ali and Lee Cornell, an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, will each read from their respective work. Then they will have a conversation, moderated by Joshua Patterson, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education and co-organizer of the Willson Center research seminar Religion and the Common Good. A book signing to follow. ASL interpretation will be provided.

Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian, and Egyptian descent. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, most recently Inquisition (Wesleyan University Press, 2018); his prose works include the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies (Tupelo Press, 2018), the novel The Secret Room: A String Quartet (Kaya Press, 2017), and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice (Tupelo Press, 2011). “The Voice of Sheila Chandra,” which appears in the new issue of The Georgia Review, is the title poem of Ali’s next collection, forthcoming from Alice James Books in October 2020. He is currently a professor of literature and writing at the University of California, San Diego.

Cornell has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens since 2013, supporting the congregation’s mission and vision as a member of the choir, Worship Arts Team, and Leadership Development Team, among other groups and committees. An active seeker of wisdom, he has reflected on texts from many religions starting in his teens and has landed on a faith based in the philosophy of Taoism and the power of love. He embraces above all else the Fourth Principle of Unitarian Universalism: “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”

Willson Center Research Seminars support faculty organizing year-long interdisciplinary discussion groups on particular research topics. Religion and the Common Good explores how religious communities reach beyond the bounds of their own community to benefit people of other faiths or of no particular faith.  This interdisciplinary initiative builds on existing networks between faculty, students, community members, and other professionals with research, teaching, and service interests in religion’s contribution to the common good. (willson.uga.edu/programs/research-seminars/)

Neil Golden will provide prelude and postlude music.

This event is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The Georgia Review, an award-winning literary journal that publishes original poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews, as well as visual art, was founded at the University of Georgia in 1947. Visit www.thegeorgiareview.com or call 706-542-3481 for further information.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm

109 Herty Field, Athens, GA 30602

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Lectures and Discussions


Arts & Culture



The Georgia Review, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
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