"Islanders, Ammiel Alcalay's latest book out now from City Lights Books, depicts the action of remembering, with Alcalay using words not so much to dictate a story, but to create a syntax that describes this experience. Certain phrases are repeated throughout the text; sentences veer and wind, then halt and interrupt; commonplace statements encompass multiple meanings and complex ideas. Islanders is that unique hybrid of poetry and prose, where pronouns and plot lines are secondary to rhythm and pacing. We become engrossed in Islanders's bleak, clouded atmosphere, allowing Alcalay to guide us through his characters’ memories. The pathway from the first page to the last—similar to how the past reappears in the present—is non-linear, illogical, and yet ultimately comforting."