poet

Fady Joudah

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Fady Joudah

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)

by this poet

poem

Does consciousness exist only when
you name it?  Was the double helix a
stranger, the nucleus the  first brain?
I feel  therefore I am.  This  is  more
peptide than pep-talk. The tongueless
mood is sticking its tongue out at us.
The mountian  wool is  shaved into
vineyards.

poem

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

poem
When I tell it, the first time
I saw hail, I say
it was in a desert and knocked
 
a man unconscious
then drove a woman into my arms
because she thought the end was near
 
but I assured her
this wasn’t the case.
 
When he tells it,
he smiles, says the first winter
after their exodus
was the coldest.
 
Rare snow
2