Abraham’s highly anticipated debut constructs a dialogue in which “every pronoun is a Free Palestine.”
Through poems of immense emotion, and the use of alluring form, Abraham crafts work that examines what we come to own by existing.
Birthright begs readers to stay, to stay lucid, to stay alive, to stay present in this very moment; as it knows now is all we are guaranteed. As trauma seeps through generations, can the body deconstruct its own inheritance? In a world that only takes, what is owed? What is your Birthright, and where is home?
Praise for BIRTHRIGHT
Abraham writes, “i am always translating” – from the sizzling, flaring elements of Palestinian/universal displacement, immigration struggles, gender identity, body & memory as “fragmented countries” too, he has built a bold, brilliant book. Here is a love too wide for containment, illuminating layers of story – family & land, political yet passionately personal. In a lineage of many broken hearts & heart attacks, here is a heart too brave to mutter or flail.
– Naomi Shihab Nye, Young People’s Poet Laureate
Abraham is a “scripter of breath” who moves fluidly across poetic forms and linguistic borders to mourn the plight of the Palestinian people and to praise their resilience. Listen to these songs of exile, diaspora, and longing. Navigate these maps of home, the body, and belonging. Birthright is a miraculous debut that “rewrites graves into sunrise” and crafts a poetics in which “every pronoun is a Free Palestine.”
– Dr. Craig Santos Perez, author of Habitat Threshold
Birthright captures how politics penetrates our psyche and consciousness, but as the poems triumph through anguish, we are able to hold onto life. The journey of reading these words is also a universal one, bringing together conceptions of faith, love, family, settler-colonialism, violence, queerness, and the search for home. Never has poetry pierced through my heart, and touched my soul, as while reading Birthright for the first time.
– Dr. Sa’ed Atshan, author of Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique
We begin: “let me be brief: by the end of this someone will be cursed” – sit up straight. Take this book, lay it flat: the spine will crack, a horizon waits, unfolding ahead of you. Walk into it. Never stop- Birthright will have changed you. “Another entirely new species will emerge over generations,” and is this collection not a new species of poetry? An adrenaline like the reader is hiking along a terrain both psychic and mythic before we reach the heart of it all: Palestine. The only thing Abraham is certain about. Birthright is prophetic and meta-aware. An essential honesty, a new kind of scripture.
– Communal Blurb from Radius of Arab American Writers Fellows (Jess Rizkallah, Summer Farah, Noor Hindi, Hazem Fahmy, and Noor Al-Ahmadi)
About George Abraham
George Abraham (they/he) is a Palestinian-American poet and Bioengineering PhD candidate at Harvard University. They are the author of Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020), and the chapbooks: the specimen’s apology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019) and al youm (TAR, 2017)…. MORE