Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan is the author of ten collections of poetry. He is also a novelist, editor, playwright, and journalist.
In this inspired translation of Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, Ghassan Zaqtan's tenth and most recent poetry collection, along with selected earlier poems, Fady Joudah brings to English-language readers the best work by one of the most important and original Palestinian poets of our time. Departing from the lush aesthetics of such celebrated predecessors as Mahmoud Darwish and Adonis, Zaqtan's daily, delicate narrative, whirling catalogues, and at times austere aesthetics represent a new trajectory, a significant leap for young Arabic poets today.
"Fragmented, suggestive and vivid… With each reading, I found myself struck by echoes I’d missed before, and I am unable to do this wonderful book justice in the space available here. It is rich, exciting, vital, human work that puts everything else I’ve read this year in the shade."
—Rob A. Mackenzie
“Zaqtan’s poems are uncompromising in their direct engagement with daily life, detailing the way in which the quotidian is, after all, the grand narrative of history. Joudah’s brilliant translations capture not only sense, sound, and rhythm, but also pulse, infusing the English language with a new sensibility.”
Yale University Press