Tethered to Stars


Tethered to Stars

“True to its title, Joudah’s collection of poems musically connects the body to the Earth and the Earth to the stars . . . It’s earthy and ethereal, as we are.”—HOUSTON CHRONICLE
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A Library Journal Best Book of Poetry of 2021

Tethered to Stars inhabits the deductive tongue of astronomy, the oracular throat of astrology, and the living language of loss and desire. With an analytical eye and a lyrical heart, Fady Joudah shifts deftly between the microscope, the telescope, and sometimes even the horoscope. His gaze lingers on the interior space of a lung, on a butterfly poised on a filament, on the moon temple atop Huayna Picchu, on a dismembered live oak. In each lingering, Joudah shares with readers the palimpsest of what makes us human: “We are other worms / for other silk roads.” The solemn, the humorous, the erotic, the transcendent—all of it, in Joudah’s poems, steeped in the lexicon of the natural world. “When I say honey,” says one lover, “I’m asking you whose pollen you contain.” “And when I say honey,” replies another, “you grip my sweetness / on your life, stigma and anthophile.”

Teeming with life but tinged with a sublime proximity to death, Tethered to Stars is a collection that flows “between nuance and essentialization,” from one of our most acclaimed poets.

astrology; astronomy; arab-american poetry; arab diaspora; space; medicine; health; nature; family; intimacy; love poetry; divination; folklore; biology; chemistry; the body; Palestine
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8.5 × 5.5 × 0.25 in
6 oz

Fady Joudah is the author of five collections of poems: The Earth in the Attic; Alight; Textu; Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance; and, most recently, Tethered to Stars. He has translated several collections of poetry from the Arabic and is the co-editor and co-founder of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He lives in Houston and practices internal medicine.

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