The August 30th Sunday Edition of the New York Times Magazine features Philip Metres' poem "Ode to the Oranges of Jaffa" first published in his chapbook Returning to Jaffa.
Thank you, Naomi Shihab Nye, for your consideration!
What if orchards could tell the histories? What if lizards, stones, rivers, hand-dug wells were talked to when compiling archives? After reading and listening to testimonies by Nahida Halaby Gordon, whose family was forced from their home in Jaffa, Palestine, in 1948, Philip Metres composed haunting poems for “Returning to Jaffa,” drawing on her memories and witness. They’re particularly searing to read during days when annexation of the occupied West Bank is bandied about like a bargaining chip and people make decisions for other people’s lands with no just resolution. I looked long and hard for a phrase like “Arab-Jewish cooperation” in a poem. It’s not impossible. Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
Read the feature in full on the NYT Magazine website or in the August 30th Sunday Edition.
And, pick up your copy of Returning to Jaffa from the Diode Editions catalog store.
Returning to Jaffa is a docupoetic inquiry into the mystery of what happened to Palestine’s most populous city and its municipal archives during the Nakba in 1948. Working with vintage postcards, Haganah leaflets, and personal photographs, Returning to Jaffa tells the story of one former resident of Jaffa, Nahida Halaby Gordon, a Palestinian who fled her native land during 1948, and who periodically returns to visit her childhood home, confiscated by Israel after the war.
Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), The Sound of Listening (essays, 2018), Sand Opera (poems, 2015), Pictures at an Exhibition (poems, 2016), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (translations 2015), and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Hunt Prize, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.