You may be sitting in your favorite chair at home when you begin to read Hedy Habra’s latest collection of poems, The Taste of the Earth, but that’s not where you’ll be. You’ll be in Damascus, Heliopolis, Beirut, Aleppo. Before you know it, as if dreaming, you’ll be gliding along the streets of these cities, listening to their sounds, overhearing bits of conversation. Born in Egypt, Habra is part of the diaspora of Middle Easterners compelled to leave lands they love due to war and upheaval. There is longing for home in every sense of the word—for a place, a person, a taste, a story, a particular light, a language, a gesture, a laugh. It is this longing that makes these poems universal, regardless of where you are as you read them.
Susan Azar Porterfield, winner of the Cider Press Review Editor’s Prize for Dirt, Root, Silk.
Susan Azar Porterfield is the author of three books of poetry—In the Garden of Our Spines, Kibbe (Mayapple Press) and Dirt, Root, Silk, which won the Cider Press Review Editor’s Prize. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review (finalist, Loraine Williams poetry prize), Barrow Street, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, Rhino, Puerto del Sol, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk (Ohio UP) and has written on poetical subjects for Poets & Writers, The Writer’s Chronicle, and Translation Review.
© Susan Azar Porterfield