Fady Joudah was born in Austin, Texas, in 1971. The son of Palestinian refugees, he grew up in Libya and Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States for college. He attended the University of Georgia–Athens, the Medical College of Georgia, and the University of Texas, where he completed his studies in internal medicine.
In 2007 Joudah’s first poetry collection, The Earth in the Attic (Yale University Press, 2008), was selected by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. In her foreword Glück writes,
Joudah’s model is less the allegory than the folktale, his language a language in which the anecdotal past is stored, renewed, and affirmed in the retellings. So, too, the chilling testimony of landscape becomes in language fixed, permanent, a means of both affirming and sustaining outrage.
Joudah is also the author of Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Editions, 2018); Textu (Copper Canyon Press, 2013); and Alight (Copper Canyon Press, 2013). His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) was a finalist for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and his translation of Ghassan Zaqtan’s Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (Yale University Press, 2012), won the 2013 International Griffin Poetry Prize.
Along with writing poetry, Joudah volunteers for Doctors Without Borders and serves as an ER physician. He lives in Houston, Texas.