Kenyon Review has just published my review of Fady Joudah’s latest book.
The review begins, “Fady Joudah’s “Traditional Anger (in the Sonora)” exemplifies two currents that run through his books: profound compassion and enigmatic phrasing. This poem—from the May/June 2016 issue of Kenyon Review, now included in Joudah’s latest collection Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance—opens with a seemingly-simple question: “Because you wait for what you asked for / how lonely is pleasure?” Though the title signals anger, this question belies a level of nonjudgment. This query—at what price do we get what we (think we) want—could apply to numerous situations, and it therefore touches the core of what it means to follow desire. This is one great joy of reading Joudah’s poems: we’re presented with snapshots from a life—walking in the desert, or a spider’s web spun in the handlebars of a bicycle—which get recounted and examined with philosophical and meditative intensity.”