A Map of Signs and Scents: New and Selected Poems, 1979–2014 (Paperback)

A Map of Signs and Scents: New and Selected Poems, 1979–2014 By Amjad Nasser, Fady Joudah (Translated by), Khaled Mattawa (Translated by) Cover Image
By Amjad Nasser, Fady Joudah (Translated by), Khaled Mattawa (Translated by)
Unavailable at this time.


Featuring poems from earlier collections of Amjad Nasser’s work and many newer uncollected poems never made available in English, A Map of Signs and Scents introduces the work of an important Arabic poet to a broader contemporary Anglophone readership. This special annotation edition helps readers view the multifaceted contexts within which Nasser has created his award-winning poems.

About the Author

AMJAD NASSER was a leading Jordanian poet, essayist, and travel memoirist. One of the pioneers of the Arabic prose poem, he cofounded a number of Arabic publications. He died in 2019. 

FADY JOUDAH is a poet, translator, and practicing physician of internal medicine. His first poetry collection, The Earth in the Attic, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007.

KHALED MATTAWA is an associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of Michigan. He has authored four books of poetry.

Praise For…

"A Map of Signs and Scents offers a compelling understanding of the inertia that propels the machinery of history—something few American poets attend to. This puts Nasser in conversation with internationally prominent poets such as Czeslaw Milosz, Octavio Paz, and Derek Walcott." —Wayne Miller, author of Post- and The City, Our City 

"This collection of new translations of Jordanian Amjad Nasser’s poetry serves not only as a survey of his impressive body of work, but draws together poems that demonstrate Nasser’s invaluable contribution to the global poetic aesthetic of the late twentieth century and beyond. Rich in images and ideas that emerge from the specific but speak to the universal, A Map of Signs and Scents is the perfect volume to experience Nasser’s poetry for the first time." —World Literature Today 

"Amjad Nasser’s poems create new structures of the mind and heart. You find yourself not so much reading these pages as walking through them: line by line, poem after poem turns its phrase-corners to offer some new revelation, some reordered arrangement of the real. A Map of Signs and Scents extends the geography of the human in every dimension." —Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

"The sensibility of the Near East is in every line, the flavor and longing, the memories are like no other; yet he’s compared favorably to Celan, Cavafy, Borges, Neruda, in classic structure and sensuality. Nasser’s best gift is the ability to fold the ancient within the troubled 'present' with philosophical discourse and pungent imagery. Personal love, and love for this world, with all its sorrows, in lyric and poetic prose, show this man as a Master of the word in any language.—Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books 

“The work of Amjad Nasser forms passages in and out of time, qualities of light and darkness, images that are never only images but sentences built on and out of the density and delicacy of his beloved and mysterious red stone city of Petra, place of living memory whose deepest origins remain secret. His poems are dramatic but the drama is built into the phrasing, the turning of the verses, the relentless nature of what comes at you from within and without, the primordial and newly minted, all at once. Stopped by Homeland Security before even reaching the border on his only attempted visit to the United States, Nasser’s work truly comes from another world, one whose rhythms and texture we have long suppressed or destroyed.” —Ammiel Alcalay, author of a little history and from the warring factions

Product Details
ISBN: 9780810133655
ISBN-10: 0810133652
Publisher: Curbstone Books 2
Publication Date: September 15th, 2016
Pages: 184
Language: English