Today's poem is "All-Night Teashop"
from In a Homeland Not Far

Press 53

Yahya Frederickson teaches writing and literature at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and a PhD in English from the University of North Dakota. Between graduate degrees he taught for six years in Yemen, initially as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Kyrgyzstan. He is the author of The Gold Shop of Ba-'Ali, which won Lost Horse Press's 2013 Idaho Prize. He's also the author of four chapbooks. The latest chapbook, The Birds of Al-Merjeh Square: Poems from Syria, won the 2013 Open Chapbook Competition at Finishing Line Press. His other chapbooks are Month of Honey, Month of Missiles (Tigertail, 2009), Returning to Water (Dacotah Territory, 2006) and Trilogy (Dacotah Territory, 1985, with Julie Taylor and Richard Schetnan). His poems have appeared in Arts & Letters, Black Warrior Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, CutBank, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Flyway, Great River Review, Green Mountains Review, Hanging Loose, The Laurel Review, Midwestern Gothic, Mizna, Ninth Letter, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, Quarter After Eight, Quarterly West, The Southern Review, WLA, Water~Stone Review, Witness, and other journals. His translations (with Muhammed Shoukany) of contemporary Saudi Arabian poets appear in New Voices of Arabia: The Poetry: An Anthology from Saudi Arabia (I.B. Tauris, 2012).

Books by Yahya Frederickson:

About In a Homeland Not Far:

"In a Homeland Not Far is a marvelous travelogue through places where one would hardly venture now . . .Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, Ethiopia . . . but places and people seen here in warm detail of the everyday before the misrule of violence. Frederickson's narrative moves with delightful lyric grace, as if William Carlos Williams had somehow been transported to Arab deserts and towns."
—John Balaban

"Yahya Frederickson dares again and again to step into minefields of misinterpretation where unwitting representatives of the powerful and the subdued are supposed to exchange pleasantries of co-optation in the name of world order and cultural independence. The scenes that ensue are not without humor or confusion, but it is the job of the poet to break such dehumanizing performances of difference to reach for the inviolably mutual between us. Frederickson delivers on his ambitious humanist quest with lyrical verve, narrative mastery and numerous spiritual and psychological insights. The poems of In a Homeland Not Far are songs of 'hijrah' and 'hopeful hill' that make new inroads into empathy and self-awareness. They are songs from the heart of an open and generous spirit, beautifully sung."
—Khaled Mattawa

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