"Laila Halaby is a necessary poet. The frank, appealing poems of my name on his tongue illuminate complexities and inequities with resonance and power. A wake-up call of a book."—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
Best-selling novelist and PEN Award winner Halaby presents readers with her first collection of poetry. Intensely personal and marked with a trenchant wit, these poems form a memoir following Halaby’s life as they explore the disorientation of exile, the challenge of navigating two cultures, and the struggle to shape her own creative identity. She shares the pain and confusion of growing up—the need for belonging and the solace of community—with tenderness and fearless candor. Rooted in her Middle Eastern heritage, these poems illuminate the Arab American experience over the last quarter century. Turning away from all that is esoteric and remote in American poetry today, Halaby’s lucid and forthright voice speaks to and for a large audience.