Fady Joudah

(1971 - Present)

Physician, poet, and translator Fady Joudah was born in Austin, Texas, to Palestinian refugee parents. He grew up in Libya and Saudi Arabia, then returned to the United States for his college studies, attending the University of Georgia–Athens, the Medical College of Georgia, and the University of Texas Health Sciences in Houston. He worked with Doctors Without Borders in Zambia and Sudan.

Joudah’s debut poetry collection, The Earth in the Attic (2008), was selected by Louise Glück as the winner of the 2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. His subsequent collections are Alight (2013), Textu (2014), Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (2018), and Tethered to Stars (2021), a Library Journal Best Book of Poetry of 2021. Joudah’s poetry has been published in journals including Poetry, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Kenyon Review, and Crab Orchard Review. As a translator, Joudah has worked with the writing of Mahmoud Darwish, Ghassan Zaqtan, and Amjad Nasser. His translations of Darwish garnered him a PEN USA award and a Banipal Prize, while his first translated book of Zaqtan’s poetry, Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (2012), won the Griffin International Poetry Prize.

The co-editor and co-founder of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize, Joudah is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He is an editor-at-large for Milkweed Editions and works as a doctor of internal medicine in Houston, where he lives with his family.


Photo by Cybele Knowles.