It’s not every day that an editor has the privilege of publishing poems by Ruth Awad. That’s too bad, because she’s kind of a big deal. On the other hand, a growing number of editors (and readers) are discovering Ruth’s work, and I’m very pleased to be among them.
I’ve followed Ruth’s poems for a while now, and what most draws me to them is… well, the fact that there isn’t one single factor drawing me in. Ruth’s poems are narrative, but they’re also lyrical. They’re accessible, but they’re also willing to play with form, and they radiate a kind of wildness that more “experimental” poetry often tries in vain to emulate.
While Ruth’s poems are often sharply political, they have a remarkable talent for avoiding melodrama by maintaining an almost spiritual attention to detail: a cinched belt (“Lebanese Famine in America”), the contrail of a missile passing overhead (“The Only Car on the Highway Back to Tripoli”), “the stench of sun-curdled garbage / growing yellow in the streets…” (“Elevator”).
So please join me in welcoming Ruth to Atticus Review, and if this month’s poetry feature makes you dizzy, don’t worry; that’s just Ruth’s talent for removing the tops off people’s heads.