[...] book cover
Poetry

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Poems
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From one of our most acclaimed contemporary writers, an urgent and essential collection of poems illuminating the visionary presence of Palestinians.
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From one of our most acclaimed contemporary writers, an urgent and essential collection of poems illuminating the visionary presence of Palestinians.

Fady Joudah’s powerful sixth collection of poems opens with, “I am unfinished business,” articulating the ongoing pathos of the Palestinian people. A rendering of Joudah’s survivance, […] speaks to Palestine’s daily and historic erasure and insists on presence inside and outside the ancestral land.

Responding to the unspeakable in real time, Joudah offers multiple ways of seeing the world through a Palestinian lens—a world filled with ordinary desires, no matter how grand or tragic the details may be—and asks their reader to be changed by them. The sequences are meditations on a carousel: the past returns as the future is foretold. But “Repetition won’t guarantee wisdom,” Joudah writes, demanding that we resuscitate language “before [our] wisdom is an echo.” These poems of urgency and care sing powerfully through a combination of intimate clarity and great dilations of scale, sending the reader on heartrending spins through echelons of time. […] is a wonder. Joudah reminds us “Wonder belongs to all.”

Keywords
Palestine; Gaza; Israel; genocide; ceasefire; killing; death; censored; news; Palestinian American; multigenerational; loss; Arab diaspora
ISBN
9781639551286
Publish Date
Pages
100
Dimensions
8.5 × 6 × 0.25 in
Weight
7 oz
Author

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah is the author of […]. He has also published six collections of poems. 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, with his wife and kids, where he practices internal medicine.

Praise and Prizes

  • “Raw as the open wound that is Palestine today, Joudah’s collection challenges us to face the oppression and injustice that his people are living and dying through on a daily basis. His anger simmers just under the surface but his grief is tactile, as he delicately unwraps and reveals the human toll of intolerance. This devastating collection could not be more relevant or important.”

    Grace Harper
    Mac’s Backs, Cleveland Heights, OH
  • “Joudah’s poetry thrives on dramatic shifts in perspective, on continually challenging received notions.”

    The Guardian
  • “A luminous aesthete who thinks in nuance, in refinements.”

    Louise Glück
  • “Joudah has been writing essential poetry for some time […] forging a lyric that works at the crosscurrents of reportage, myth, and dream where falsely imagined boundaries―of gender, nation, family―fray and unfold. […] Joudah’s gifts for articulating the intersections of bewilderment, tenderness, rage, and grief are fully alive.”

    Mary Szybist
  • “If you love poetry, or simply wonder what powerful poetry is and what it can do for you, then the poems of Fady Joudah are waiting for you.”

    Rowan Ricardo Phillips
  • “With a quiet certainty, Joudah names those ordinary things that hold everything in focus, grounded in a fabular mystery that resonates in the twenty-first century.”

    Yusef Komunyakaa
  • “Joudah’s poems defy classification, not because they perplex, but because of their remarkable power of synthesis. His mode is the lyric, with its concinnity and necessary music, but his lyrics compress, contain and then liberate the matter of narrative: allegory, fable, folktale, parable, documentary. He is a superb, seductive storyteller.”

    Marilyn Hacker
  • “Within […] pages, the poet’s voice travels across centuries and continents, historicizing the fate of the Palestinian people while illuminating the bewilderment, eros, and spirituality of everyday life. Joudah’s integrity and craftsmanship elasticize the boundaries of the lyric and embrace a reckoning with colonial violence. But these glimmering, layered poems defy easy categorization, even as they brim with the wisdom we inherit from the dead.”

    Aria Aber, Yale Review