ER doc, poet to participate in Prize Poets showcase
It's not surprising, considering he's led a very eventful life with plenty to write about. Joudah was born in Texas to Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Saudi Arabia and Libya before eventually returning to the United States to study to be a physician. He also participates in the Doctors Without Borders program. These experiences are regular themes in his poetry.
"One writes, in a sense, about one's life, so there are certain themes in my life that are pretty abundant, and those have a lot to do with growing up with Palestinian parents and having a lot of family in Palestine and seeing and understanding the world through that experience, as well as being a physician and understanding the world through that experience as well," Joudah said. "And now that I've been married for a few years, with children, this jumps into the mix too."
Joudah's first book of poetry, "The Earth in the Attic," won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007. He's also received accolades for his work as a translator of Arabic poetry. His translation of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish's book "If I Were Another" won the PEN USA Literary Award for Translation in 2010. Joudah's next book of poetry, titled "Alight," will hit shelves in April.
Joudah is also involved with Public Poetry, an organization that promotes poetry through readings at public libraries and other venues, and he will participate in the debut showcase for its new program, Prize Poets, 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Houston Public Library, located at 500 McKinney St.
"It's a new program started by (Public Poetry founder) Fran Sanders … she's actually trying to do a tour around the city's libraries every few months and have poets reading there to be sure that poetry remains on the public radar, so to speak," Joudah said.
For more information on Joudah or his poetry and translation work, visit www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/fady-joudah. To learn more about Public Poetry series readings, visit www.publicpoetry.net. For additional information on the upcoming Prize Poets event, call the Houston Public Library at 832-393-1313 or visit www.houstonlibrary.org. You can also connect with the Houston Public Library on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT Fady Joudah
OCCUPATION: Emergency room physician, poet
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Bellaire resident
FAST FACT: Joudah attended the University of Georgia in Athens, the Medical College of Georgia and the University of Texas
Megan Mattingly-Arthur is a freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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