Towards the End by Ali Alizadeh was launched by Philip Mead, at the Paperback Bookshop in Melbourne on 20 February, 2020. Below is an edited version of Mead’s launch speech. 

Welcome everyone. I’m delighted to be launching this latest collection of Ali Alizadeh’s poems, Towards the End, published by Giramondo. I’ve been following Ali’s writing now for a long time, ever since he sprung onto the scene in the late 90s as a new voice and a new sensibility. Ali Alizadeh: I’ve always thought of him as a double-A poet! Since then he’s become such an important and distinctive writer in Australia’s contemporary literary scene. He’s persisted with poetry, as we know, with two collections of his own work before this volume, and the collection of translations from Attar (2007), the great Sufi poet (of the late twelfth/early thirteenth centuries) – forerunner of Rumi and Hafiz. To give you some idea of the fascinating complexities that Ali traverses in his writing… (read more)