Sand Opera received Honorable Mention for the Arab American Book Award 2016, four years after its first section, abu ghraib arias, in chapbook format, won the Arab American Book Award in 2012. Sand Opera is what political poetry must be like today in our age of seemingly permanent war. --Mark Nowak
Sand Opera emerges from the dizzying position of being named but unheard as an Arab American and out of the parallel sense of seeing Arabs named and silenced since 9/11. Polyvocal poems, arias, and redacted text speak for the unheard. Philip Metres exposes our common humanity while investigating the dehumanizing perils of war and its lasting effect on our culture.
From Hung Lyres : @ When the bombs fell, she could barely raisePreview her pendulous head, wept shrapnel until her mother capped the fire with her breast. She teetered on the highwire of herself. She lay down & the armies retreated, never showing their backs. When she unlatched from the breast, the planes took off again. Stubborn stars refused to fall . . . Philip Metres has written a number of books, including Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), To See the Earth (Cleveland State, 2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941 (University of Iowa, 2007). His work has appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry, and has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.