Tracy Fuad is the author of PITH, winner of the Gloria Anzaldúa Prize, and DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD DAD. Her work has appeared in Poetry, the Best New Poets Anthology, the New Republic, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program and a 2021–2022 Writing Fellow at the Providence Fine Arts Work Center.
In about:blank, Tracy Fuad builds a poetics of contemporary dissociation. Funny, plaintive, and cutting, this formally inventive debut probes alienation in place and in language through the author’s consideration of her own relationship to Iraqi Kurdistan. about:blank—the title of which is the universal URL for a blank web page—complicates questions of longing and belonging. Interrogating the language of internet chatrooms, Yelp reviews, and the Kurdish dictionary, the poems here leap surprisingly between subjects to find new meaning.
Written before and during the years the author spent living in Iraqi Kurdistan, the collection documents the alienation of being inside, outside, and between language(s) and the always-already terror of grammar. At once haunted and humorous, about:blank inhabits and exhibits the disorientation and fragmentation that is endemic to the internet era, and mourns the loss of a more embodied existence.
Excerpt from “Iraq Vag Panic”
We approach the fertile crescent:
Hewlêr, Kirkuk, Baghdad – three neon shocks.
Across the aisle a woman opens up
a document that just says ART.
Then selects the text in baby blue
and makes it shrink.
Timing, says the healer. Such a powerful force in life.