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Book Title

The Wild Fox of Yemen

Author 1
Threa Almontaser
Poem Excerpt
One day, nameless limbs, small square
of sidewalk, like a fig fallen too soon.
The next, a gang member’s mascot, beast 
born from an Arab’s love, coked-up rats. 
A woman in tragedy will also grow that fast,
turn from whimpers to wind in seconds 
with the right kind of violence, and after, 
make herself a home for the lost 
who look for it.
—from “Ode to Bodega Cats”
By turns aggressively reckless and fiercely protective, always guided by faith and ancestry, Threa Almontaser’s incendiary debut asks how mistranslation can be a form of self-knowledge and survival. A love letter to the country and people of Yemen, a portrait of young Muslim womanhood in New York after 9/11, and an extraordinarily composed examination of what it means to carry in the body the echoes of what came before, Almontaser’s polyvocal collection sneaks artifacts to and from worlds, repurposing language and adapting to the space between cultures. Half-crunk and hungry, speakers move with the force of what cannot be contained by the limits of the American imagination, and instead invest in troublemaking and trickery, navigate imperial violence across multiple accents and anthems, and apply gang signs in henna, utilizing any means necessary to form a semblance of home. In doing so, The Wild Fox of Yemen fearlessly rides the tension between carnality and tenderness in the unruly human spirit.

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Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Harryette Mullen

About the Author

Threa  Almontaser
Credit: Yasmin Ali
Threa Almontaser is a Yemeni American author from New York City. Almontaser's debut collection of poetry, The Wild Fox of Yemen, was selected for the 2020 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets by Harryette Mullen. Her work can be found in the Adroit Journal, Passages North, Diode Poetry JournalThe Rumpus, wildness, and elsewhere. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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  • “Almontaser’s debut collection is a wonderfully crafted portrait of Muslim womanhood and the country and people of Yemen. . . . Throughout, Almontaser weaves in history, cultural traditions, and the Arabic language, revealing a standout gift for metaphor, wordplay, and storytelling.”—Library Journal, starred review
  • “Almontaser’s daring debut both speaks to and transcends the times.”BookPage
  • “The beautifully crafted poems can feel like mini-histories, intricate narratives spanning only a few pages. They overflow with richness and opportunities for interpretation, shifting between Arabic and English; yet they are self-contained and pointed as a missile.”Chicago Review of Books
  • “Really one could not say enough good things about the poems of Threa Almontaser in The Wild Fox of Yemen. . . . With counterpoints of old and new worlds, and full love and care for possibility, in brilliant rushes of language, these poems know it's so hard to be all we are, but they rise to every occasion.”—Naomi Shihab Nye
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