Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet, translator, and physician. 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.
“With anatomical precision, Joudah illustrates scenes that are at once uncanny and contemporary, be it a Bedouin woman’s lavender mourning veil, the chrome doors to an alchemist’s home, or the mysterious speaker in ‘Smoke,’ who exits abruptly and claims to have ‘scripts to write and scrolls to find,’ a testament to the duties of attending physician and displaced poet alike. In both roles, Joudah has records to keep and history to revisit, and does so beautifully.” —Booklist
“Joudah’s poetry is rich with the influences and styles of both American and Arabic poetry. It can be personal and image-driven, by turns, as well as discursive and social. Its lyric gifts are as powerful as its narrative impulse.” —Kenyon Review
“Throughout Alight‘s carefully structured arc of movement and within its individual poems, the quotidian resides within the mythic. Joudah’s is an art written out of experience, rather than about it… Poetry like Joudah’s strikes a match into our dark places.” —Poet Lore