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124 E Washington, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | 734.585.5567 | firstname.lastname@example.org | M-Th 10-9 | Fri & Sa 10-10 | Sun 10-7
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
“'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.