Registers of Illuminated Villages - Tarfia Faizullah

Staff Pick

Faizullah’s dazzling second collection is an over-brimming well of lyrics, dreams, portraits, voices, memories, and challenges. The transformative power of language starts with the title, a revision of the catalog of “397 eliminated” Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq. With this, Faizullah announces her project of not just elegizing, but restoring, creating anew, and calling history to account.  Ambitious as this is, it is only part of what happens in the book. Though she’d like to be “done cataloguing/ loss” and instead “sand glossy/the corners of rib-/cages that I empty,” the book is haunted by the younger sister who died in a car crash. Just as political violence has left “bone too stubborn to burn” where villages used to be, the girl, as irrepressible as the poet, won’t be laid to rest. Seriously injured in that same collision, Faizullah is always conscious of bodies, and her language repeatedly fuses the physical and the emotional: “when I say love, / I mean/each artery of this ink.” Speaking in many “registers”—Hunger, Submission, Solace, Astonishment—Faizullah is passionate in every one of them. More than that, “I do not dream. I glow,” she states. As do her illuminations.

Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978006
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Graywolf Press - March 6th, 2018

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