On Loving a Saudi Girl
WINNER OF THE 2015 CHARLOTTE MEW PRIZE
Poems that map a landscape where travel and a love of place merge with the loss of an erotic obsession.
This collection is quiet in its transformations—both imagined and radically real—as the speaker allows us to understand different ways in which “love has gone and left [us].” The images that cypher throughout the manuscript—Blue Mosques, Persian seaweed, the song of the muezzin, goats left bleeding in the street—ally themselves with literary allusions from Millay and Dickinson to Zafon and Stein to create a new oeuvre of sound, voice, and color that is wholly the poet’s own making. At once melancholy and defiant, On Loving a Saudi Girl wakes some of the most difficult, buried truths of what it is to “love in silence, with deeds and not with words,” creating new ways for the reader to surrender again and again until surrender is made new.
—Meg Day, Judge of the Charlotte Mew Prize