Kazim Ali and Robert Boschman in Conversation

December 20, 2021

Kazim Ali, Robert Boschman, Imre Szeman, and Caleb Wellum

In their astonishing memoirs, published only weeks apart, Kazim Ali and Robert Boschman explore how their personal and family stories overlap with histories of violence, colonialism, indigenous dispossession, and energy development in Western Canada.

In Fall 2021, Boschman and Ali sat down with Energy Humanities editors to discuss the resonances between their narratives and the themes that unite them. The conversation that followed was an intimate and affecting dialogue between two men wrestling with the past.

Kazim Ali’s Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water is published by Milkweed Editions.

Robert Boschman’s White Coal City: A Memoir of Place and Family is published by the University of Regina Press.

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including several volumes of poetry, novels, and translations. He is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water.

Robert Boschman grew up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, on Treaty 6 lands. He is Professor of American Literature and the Environmental Humanities at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta where he chairs the Department of English, Languages, and Cultures.

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