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Book Title

Registers of Illuminated Villages

Author 1
Tarfia Faizullah
Poem Excerpt
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. 

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“Tarfia Faizullah is a poet of brave and unflinching vision.”—Natasha Trethewey

About the Author

Tarfia  Faizullah
Tarfia Faizullah is the author of Registers of Illuminated Villages and Seam, winner of a VIDA Award and a GLCA New Writers’ Award. She teaches at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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  • Winner of the 2018 Writers' League of Texas Book Award for Poetry
  • “In her fiercely original second collection, Tarfia Faizullah traverses the globe—northern Iraq; Flint, Mich.; West Texas; Bangladesh—and employs a range of formal experiments to illuminate acts of resistance in the face of injustice and violence.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • “Faizullah’s entire collection—powerful, wide-ranging—is an affirmation, an accomplished second book.”The Millions
  • “Faizullah is an essential poet for our times.”The Rumpus
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