You are here

Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
9 on hand, as of Jun 19 9:45pm

Staff Reviews

Part of two weeks of dedicated poetry events here, for me, this was the stand out work. Such a loved, talented member of the writing community here, Faizullah shines as she weaves together how one experiences life as a Middle Eastern person, as a woman in this country and the parallels that exist with Middle Eastern culture and trauma. And this is the heart of the work - trauma. The work takes its namesake from a forgotten document, detailed by a Frontline reporter as a 'Register of Eliminated Villages,' 397 Kurdish eliminated villages in Northern Iraq with no other documentation than a single sheet of yellow legal pad. Faizullah gives life to these lost villages, lost people, by identifying them as illuminated, worth knowing, in need of mourning and recognized identity. 

— From Ashley

March 2018 Indie Next List

“'Why do you always ask what can't be answered?' Registers of Illuminated Villages is a collection of immense physical, emotional, and spiritual hunger. Faizullah explores the boundaries of open, unending questions as she looks for a timeline for grief, a god to fulfill the duties of a god, and a home that doesn't resemble home anymore. Contemplative and beautiful, this book should be held close to feel the power of its vulnerability.”
— Nicole McCarthy, King's Books, Inc., Tacoma, WA


"Tarfia Faizullah is a poet of brave and unflinching vision." --Natasha Trethewey

Somebody is always singing. Songs
were not allowed. Mother said,
Dance and the bells will sing with you.
I slithered. Glass beneath my feet. I
locked the door. I did not
die. I shaved my head. Until the horns
I knew were there were visible.
Until the doorknob went silent.

--from "100 Bells"

Registers of Illuminated Villages is Tarfia Faizullah's highly anticipated second collection, following her award-winning debut, Seam. Faizullah's new work extends and transforms her powerful accounts of violence, war, and loss into poems of many forms and voices--elegies, outcries, self-portraits, and larger-scale confrontations with discrimination, family, and memory. One poem steps down the page like a Slinky; another poem responds to makeup homework completed in the summer of a childhood accident; other poems punctuate the collection with dark meditations on dissociation, discipline, defiance, and destiny; and the near-title poem, "Register of Eliminated Villages," suggests illuminated texts, one a Qur'an in which the speaker's name might be found, and the other a register of 397 villages destroyed in northern Iraq. Faizullah is an essential new poet whose work only grows more urgent, beautiful, and--even in its unsparing brutality--full of love.

About the Author

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of Seam, winner of a VIDA Award and a Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. She teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Detroit.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555978006
ISBN-10: 1555978002
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018
Pages: 96
Language: English