You Can Be the Last Leaf: Selected Poems

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5.43 X 8.35 X 0.47 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is the author of You Can Be the Last Leaf. She is also the editor of The Book of Ramallah: A City in Short Fiction and a contributor to A Bird Is Not a Stone: An Anthology of Contemporary Palestinian Poetry. Her work has been published in The Guardian, the Irish Times, and Literary Hub. She is the director of the Palestine Writing Workshop, an institution that seeks to encourage reading in Palestinian communities through creative writing projects and storytelling with children and teachers. Abu Al-Hayyat lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah.

Fady Joudah is the translator of You Can Be the Last Leaf. He is also the author of five collections of poems, including, most recently, Tethered to Stars and Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. He has translated from the Arabic collections by Mahmoud Darwish, Ghassan Zaqtan, and Amjad Nasser, and is the coeditor and cofounder of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He was a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007 and has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, a PEN USA award for translation, a Banipal/Times Literary Supplement prize from the UK, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Houston, with his wife and kids, where he practices internal medicine.
Praise for You Can Be the Last Leaf

"The Palestinian poet's U.S. debut gathers two decades of her intimate testimony about private life in a public war zone, where 'those who win by killing fewer children / are losers.'"-New York Times

"The Palestinian poet's U.S. debut gathers two decades of her intimate testimony about private life in a public war zone, where 'those who win by killing fewer children / are losers.'"--New York Times
"Al-Hayyat's latest devastating and courageous collection captures the precarious everyday lives of Palestinians with enormous empathy and glistening clarity . . . The vivid translations by Fady Joudah will jostle readers into discomfort and pin Al-Hayyat's stunning voice into their ears."--Booklist

"There is so much grief and laughter in this collection, loss and love, as we watch the poet over time in an unending occupation. This unceasing violence seeps into her interior world too, her home and mind. But she still fiercely demands space for desire, laughter, and hope."--Pierce Alquist, Book Riot

"Abu Al-Hayyat explores the broader political and geographic aspects of Palestinian life under colonial rule while at the same time interweaving the quotidian aspects of life and loss in such settings. Within these frictions of exterior trauma and private contemplations, large constraints and small freedoms, these poems soar."--Chicago Review of Books"These poems are the sustaining crumbs that Al-Hayyat has strewn onto the road of our consciousness. Perhaps they will help us find our way home. Perhaps they already are home, the home we construct from the remnants of the dreams that are left to us amid the tumult of our times."--Words Without Borders"You Can Be the Last Leaf is a collection of selected poems from Abu Al-Hayyat's four poetry collections . . . it gives the reader a window into the impressive journey that the poet has charted from her first poetry collection . . . This translation is necessary because Abu Al-Hayyat is fierce, impressive, and unapologetically herself. Her work takes the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions anchored in truth. In her poems, the reader experiences life as it is, with its round and broken wholeness. Abu Al-Hayyat writes in a clear and concise fashion about loss, grief, fear, hope, and love echoing her experiences as well as what she witnesses in Palestine."--Tel Aviv Review of Books"[Maya Abu Al-Hayyat] dreams, and I would like to dream with her, of the joys that can still be found."--Susanna Lang, RHINO

"'What if / I find what I'm looking for?' asks the poet, a question both disarming and succulent in one of this collection's many gently immovable poems. How singular the ordinary is, the poet shows, spotlit as it is against the world's unending violence. Only a poet of great love like Maya Abu Al-Hayyat could claim both that 'love dies' and is 'worth a thousand loves' with 'two hands.' 'Are we human?' the poet also asks. There is no good answer, but we would be foolish to ignore the question. Props must be given to translator Fady Joudah for so sheerly rendering this collection to us undeserving English-speaking readers; I hope we can appreciate the enormity of this gift."--Tarfia Faizullah

"Each poem in Fady Joudah's translation of Maya Abu Al-Hayyat's, You Can Be the Last Leaf arrives whole, a