The Earth in the Attic Fady Joudah, Louise Glück

Yale Series of Younger Poets
Publication date:
15 Apr 2008
Yale University Press
96 pages: 241 x 149 x 6mm
Sales territories:

Announcing the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Yale Younger Poets prize

Fady Joudah’s The Earth in the Attic is the 2007 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. In his poems Joudah explores big themes—identity, war, religion, what we hold in common—while never losing sight of the quotidian, the specific. Contest judge Louise Glück describes the poet in her Foreword as “that strange animal, the lyric poet in whom circumstance and profession . . . have compelled obsession with large social contexts and grave national dilemmas.” She finds in his poetry an incantatory quality and concludes, “These are small poems, many of them, but the grandeur of conception is inescapable. The Earth in the Attic is varied, coherent, fierce, tender; impossible to put down, impossible to forget.”

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American medical doctor and a field member of Doctors Without Borders since 2001. He lives in Houston, TX. He is also the translator of Mahmoud Darwish’s recent poetry The Butterfly’s Burden.

"A Palestinian-American doctor treats big themes?war, death, religion?on an intimate scale. Joudah's best work uses his gift for detail to achieve a clear-eyed lyricism."?Entertainment Weekly

"The Earth in the Attic underscores Fady Joudah's great talent for exacting naked feelings that engage the age-old mysteries of this world, while maintaining a levelheaded residence amidst the everyday vagaries of modern life. The poems here radiate from the personal out into the larger world, propelling along moments of light and transcendence. With a quiet certainty, Fady Joudah names those ordinary things that hold everything in focus, grounded in a fabular mystery that resonates in the twenty-first century."?Yusef Komunyakaa

"The Earth in the Attic reads like a quiet storm of human emotions and experiences. . . . Joudah's poems explore loss, displacement, suffering, and longing. They drift from the personal and specific to the larger stories of peoples and nations that Joudah encounters. . . . Joudah's unique talent is to offer poetry readers a look at a wounded and fractured world through his eyes."?Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, The Institute for Middle East Understanding

"Joudah's poetry is powerful in part because it has the sharp flavor of real life about it. . . . His is a poetry in which inner and outer worlds are inextricably intertwined?a quality that allows Joudah to pass back and forth between these worlds seamlessly, so that his poems resonate like two cello strings stroked by a single bow."?Goodreads

"Fady Joudah is a quiet light of a poet. His book The Earth in the Attic has captivated me for the last several weeks. . . . This collection of poems . . . is beautiful, clear, and sad. He combines calm images from daily life with the sadness of violence in the Middle East, and a physician's ordered observations of the world. His voice is one of someone who 'knows' something. It's gorgeous. . . . This is one of those wonderful collections of poetry that befriends you and stays with you."?Joseph Ross & Robert Waxman, Live Write

Finalist for the 2008 Book of the Year Award, presented by ForeWord magazine.

"Joudah is uniquely positioned to comment on the state of the world and the effects of power. . . .Joudah's poetry captures the right balance between witness and advocate. . . .He is a gifted poet on the precipice of greatness."?Chad Rochkind, Growler Poetry Review