Praise for Jalsaghar My hands memorize your hourglass waist. /Slow winds pass through distant sands, sifting grains. Imagine that beauty rethought in stanza after stanza. The ghazal is the Satie of poetry, sustained by the whirling dervish, its couplets braiding into the brain. Steffen Horstmanns Jalsaghar is a stunning homage to the late Agha Shahid Ali (Terese Svoboda, author of Professor Harrimans Steam Air-Ship). A rapproachment with a formal tradition demands incisive cultural evaluation; an assay of a formal tradition not ones own demands that one become a naturalized citizen of a nation of poetry. The sure-footedness with which Steffen Horstmann navigates the ghazal forma kind of poem often misunderstood in Anglophone practiceis a testimony to long and devoted study as well as to Horstmanns skill as a practitioner, his keen ear, and his passion for the possibilities of the kind of dtente poetry offers: a genuine cross-pollination of the music, the landscapes, the souls of distant and yet always kindred lives (T. R. Hummer, author of Skandalon). Steffen Horstmanns book of contemporary ghazals shows us the ways in which formin this case precise, musical, devotional in its originscan act as a vehicle for meditation. The rhymes and repetitions of the ghazal are part prayer, part spell, and as such they bind together in language the world of material things and the world of spirit, which is also a world of longing. Agha Shahid Ali brought the tradition of the ghazal into the center of our contemporary and American poetic repertoire; Steffen Horstmann has carried it into our young century, made it new (Mark Wunderlich, author of The Earth Avails).