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About this poet

Fady Joudah was born in Austin, Texas, in 1971. The son of Palestinian refugees, he grew up in Libya and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States for college. He attended the University of Georgia–Athens, the Medical College of Georgia, and the University of Texas, where he completed his studies in internal medicine.

In 2007 his first poetry collection, The Earth in the Attic (Yale University Press, 2008), was selected by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. In her foreword Glück writes, “Joudah’s model is less the allegory than the folktale, his language a language in which the anecdotal past is stored, renewed, and affirmed in the retellings. So, too, the chilling testimony of landscape becomes in language fixed, permanent, a means of both affirming and sustaining outrage.”

Joudah is also the author of Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Editions, 2018), Textu (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) and Alight (Copper Canyon Press, 2013). His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) was a finalist for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and his translation of Ghassan Zaqtan’s Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (Yale University Press, 2012), won the 2013 International Griffin Poetry Prize.

Along with writing poetry, Joudah volunteers for Doctors Without Borders and serves as an ER physician. He lives in Houston, Texas.


Bibliography

Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Editions, 2018)
Textu (Copper Canyon Press, 2013)
Alight (Copper Canyon Press, 2013)
The Earth in the Attic (Yale University Press, 2008)

Epithalamion

We hold the present responsible for my hand
in your hand, my thumb

as aspirin leaves a painless bruise, our youth
immemorial in a wormhole for silence

to rescue us, the heart free at last
of the tongue (the dream, the road) upon

which our hours reside together alone,
that this is love’s profession, our scents

on pillows displace our alphabet to grass
with fidelity around our wrists

and breastbones, thistle and heather.
And this steady light, angular

through the window, is no amulet
to store in a dog-eared book.

A body exits all pages to be
inscribed on another, itself.

From Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Fady Joudah. Used with permission from Milkweed Editions, milkweed.org.

From Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Books, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Fady Joudah. Used with permission from Milkweed Editions, milkweed.org.

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah, born in Texas in 1971, is the author of Textu (Copper Canyon Press).

by this poet

poem

Days been dark
don’t say “in these dark days”
done changed my cones and rods

Sometimes I’m the country
other times the countryside

I put my clothes back on
to take them off again

2
poem

it'll be kept secret
from her four daughters

who'll be flying in
from three different countries

after years of absence
reunion ends



When the grandmother dies

it'll ruin summertime
for the grandkids who

in their mothers' grief

poem

When the shooting began
Everyone ran to the trucks
Grabbed whatever their backs needed
And made for the trucks
Except K

And they begged him to get on
The ones who ran to the trucks
But he refused them all

Later they found him
On the road running
And howling and