?Tarfia Faizullah is a poet of brave and unflinching vision.? ?Natasha Trethewey
Somebody is always singing. Songs
were not allowed. Mother said,
Dance and the bells will sing with you.
I slithered. Glass beneath my feet. I
locked the door. I did not
die. I shaved my head. Until the horns
I knew were there were visible.
Until the doorknob went silent.
?from ?100 Bells?
Registers of Illuminated Villages is Tarfia Faizullah?s highly anticipated second collection, following her award-winning debut, Seam. Faizullah?s new work extends and transforms her powerful accounts of violence, war, and loss into poems of many forms and voices?elegies, outcries, self-portraits, and larger-scale confrontations with discrimination, family, and memory. One poem steps down the page like a Slinky; another poem responds to makeup homework completed in the summer of a childhood accident; other poems punctuate the collection with dark meditations on dissociation, discipline, defiance, and destiny; and the near-title poem, ?Register of Eliminated Villages,? suggests illuminated texts, one a Qur?an in which the speaker?s name might be found, and the other a register of 397 villages destroyed in northern Iraq. Faizullah is an essential new poet whose work only grows more urgent, beautiful, and?even in its unsparing brutality?full of love.