Fugitive/Refuge

Philip Metres

In Fugitive/Refuge, Philip Metres follows the journey of his refugee ancestors—from Lebanon to Mexico to the United States—in a vivid exploration of what it means to long for home. A book-length qasida, the collection draws on ancient poetic traditions and invents new forms—odes and arabics, sonnets and close-ups, prayers and documentary voicings, heroic couplets and homophonic translations—to confront the perils of our age: forced migration, climate change, and toxic nationalism.

Fugitive/Refuge pronounces the urge both to remember the past and to forge new ways of being in language. In one section, Metres meditates on the Arabic greeting “ahlan wa sahlan,” framing these older forms of welcome as generous, embodied ways to respond to the digital alienation and mass migration of postmodern societies. In another section, he dialogues with Dante to inform new ways of understanding ancestral and modern migrations and the injustices that have burdened them. Ultimately, Metres uses movement to create a new place—one to home and dream in—for all those who seek shelter.

ISBN: 9781556596698

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (Copper Canyon 2020). His other works include The Sound of Listening (essays), Pictures at an Exhibition (poems), the translation I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky, and Sand Opera. His work has garnered fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as six Ohio Arts Council grants, the Hunt Prize, the Adrienne Rich Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the …

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