In Atrium, award-winning Palestinian-American poet Hala Alyan traces lines of global issues in personal spaces, with fervently original imagery, and a fierce passion and intense intimacy that echoes long after initial reading.
The book received the 2013 Arab American Book of the Year Award for Poetry, an astounding achievement for a first collection. In addition, Alyan was recently tapped as a finalist in the Nazim Himet Poetry Competition.
Already in her young career, Alyan has etched her mark on other award-winning poets who are universal in their praise: “Don't miss the dazzling Hala Alyan. Wow. When she says ‘the poetry like a spear,’ she isn't kidding.” —Naomi Shihab Nye; “Hala Alyan’s poems startle us with their beautiful, enigmatic images and capture us with their passionate engagement with the world. A powerful debut.” —Chitra Divakaruni; “For all the stunning angularity in this vision, we do not doubt that what we are seeing and sensing here is a surprising, sharp-edged sense of the real, of a world that had been there all along, just waiting for this poet and these poems to reveal. Start to finish, these poems convey a singular vision and represent an important new voice in the international poetry arena.” —Fred Marchant
Hala Alyan's Atrium is truly a remarkable debut by a poet of stunning virtuosity and range.
From "Pandora" by Hala Alyan
When you sin,
you go to church.
Cut your hair and watch French films.
but tea for
an entire winter.
I just wash my sheets.