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Arab Americans

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah is a Palestinian-American poet and physician. He is the 2007 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition for his collection of poems The Earth in the Attic.


Joudah was born in Austin, Texas in 1971 to Palestinian refugee parents, and grew up in Libya and Saudi Arabia. He returned to the United States to study to become a doctor, first attending the University of Georgia in Athens, and then theMedical College of Georgia, before completing his medical training at the University of Texas. Joudah currently practices as an ER physician in Houston, Texas. He has also volunteered abroad with the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders.[2]

Joudah’s poetry has been published in a variety of publications, including Poetry magazine,[3] Iowa ReviewKenyon Review, Drunken Boat, Prairie Schooner and Crab Orchard Review.

In 2006, he published The Butterfly’s Burden, a collection of recent poems by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish translated from Arabic,[4] which was a finalist for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.[5]

In 2012, Joudah published Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, and Other Poems, a collection of poems by Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan translated from Arabic, which won the 2013 International Griffin Poetry Prize.[6]

His most recent book of poetry, Alight[7] was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013.

In other media

In October 2014, Joudah was interviewed for the documentary Poetry of Witness, directed by independent filmmakers Billy Tooma and Anthony Cirilo.