The poems in Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s fine collection offer spare and subdued reflections on the daily life, politics, art, and above all, the cultural exchange steeping the world of Medieval Spain. This book is informed by painstaking historical fact, to be sure, but the history here is illuminated by an imaginative fire. The poems are carefully conceived and finely crafted, notable for their supple phrasing and precise imagery. But a larger passion emerges from this collection, namely, the reminder that there was a time when Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived peaceably and decently together, and each tradition was made richer for it. Hashmi’s Baker of Tarifa is a somber, elegant, and persuasive book.