Overview

The poems in Alight alternate between the estranging familial and strangely familiar, between burning and illumination. As father, husband, and physician, Fady Joudah gives children and vulnerable others voice in this hauntingly lyrical collection, where, with quiet ferociousness, one’s self can be reclaimed from suffering’s grip over mind and spirit.

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet, translator, and physician of internal medicine. He received his medical training from...

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Alight

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Overview

The poems in Alight alternate between the estranging familial and strangely familiar, between burning and illumination. As father, husband, and physician, Fady Joudah gives children and vulnerable others voice in this hauntingly lyrical collection, where, with quiet ferociousness, one’s self can be reclaimed from suffering’s grip over mind and spirit.

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet, translator, and physician of internal medicine. He received his medical training from the Medical College of Georgia and University of Texas, and served with Doctors Without Borders in 2002 and 2005. His first book, The Earth in the Attic, won the 2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, judged by Louise Glück. In 2010 he received a PEN translation award for his translations of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Our age is a checkpoint” writes Joudah (winner of the 2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets) in his second collection. These deeply unsettling poems draw from Joudah’s work as a physician with Doctors Without Borders, evoking the fight for survival through enjambed lines that lack punctuation. Inefficient bureaucracy and preventable death haunt these lines: “I was trying to listen to your baby’s heartbeat/ With a gadget a century old.” The violence in the collection proves bipartite: political unrest the land is subject to, “Where the rebels came and went/ And ran into the government boys// Her girl’s femur the size of the bullet,” and the violence of illness resulting from lack of medical care. Even the animal kingdom is inflected through this lens, “caterpillars that eat their mothers and taxed pronouns.” Joudah conveys suffering without foregoing lyricism, unearthing striking linguistic combinations—“Humvee probability,” “pregnant mistletoes”—that enact a physician’s precision and a poet’s descriptive prowess. The winding nature of these poems suggests the lasting nature of the struggle described, the lack of resolution or reprieve: “To seduce memory/ into song/ to twist it/ in a twister county,” “To pray surrounded by guards/ to pray to the guards or/ to the invisible gods in the guards or the one surrounding the guards.” (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619321144
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 7/3/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 110
  • Sales rank: 1,303,882
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Fady Joudah: Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet, translator, and physician of internal medicine. He received his medical training from the Medical College of Georgia and University of Texas, and served with Doctors Without Borders in 2002 and 2005. His first book, The Earth in the Attic, won the 2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, judged by Louise Glück. In 2010 he received a PEN translation award for his translations of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
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