Saturday, June 2, 2012

Philip Metres wins the 2012 Arab American Book Award in Poetry for abu ghraib arias

abu ghraib arias is a poetic meditation on why torture happens and what torture does, both to its perpetrators and its victims. The book is a long poem that began out of the author's vertiginous sense of being named but silenced as an Arab American, and out of the parallel sense of seeing Arabs named and silenced, since 9/11. The poem draws upon a number of sources: a Standard Operating Procedure manual for Camp Echo at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, the testimony of Abu Ghraib torture victims, the words of U.S. soldiers, the Bible, the Code of Hammurabi, and various other texts. Hilary Plum writes in the Kenyon Review, "[Metres] has created a text that incorporates both names and silence, that both names (the torturers) and aims to witness the silence, the violence they’ve inflicted by allowing space in the text, exerting pressure on the speech until it breaks."

Philip Metres has written a number of books, most recently the chapbook abu ghraib arias and To See the Earth. Other books include: Come Together: Imagine Peace, Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941, Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein, A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky, and three other chapbooks, Ode to Oil, Instants and Primer for Non-Native Speakers. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry and has garnered an NEA, a Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, and the Cleveland Arts Prize in 2010. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Flying Guillotine is honored and proud to have published this book. Thank you Philip, and thank you to the Arab American National Museum.

We sold out of the first handbound edition, but we are printing a second perfect bound edition.
You can pre-order below.

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