Ruth Awad


Ruth Awad is a Lebanese-American poet, a 2021 NEA Poetry fellow, and the author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Alongside Rachel Mennies, she is the co-editor of The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2020). She is the recipient of a 2020 and 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and she won the 2013 and 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest. Her work appears in Poetry, Poem-a-Day, The Believer, The New Republic, Pleiades, The Missouri Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and she lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. Source

Interview with My Father: Names

When someone dies in Tripoli, we write their names on paper

Next to their pictures and post them where others can see.


Walk the street where the names wave the walls, 

flutter from windows, buildings gilled with sheets—


breathing paper, beating paper, the streets are paper—

and we don’t know who we’re going to see, whose face


will call from that collage, the hundreds of eyes glancing

all around, as though we could lift them from the pages, 


as though we weren’t born into war, too, 

as though our religion (blood-bright


in the hands of a checkpoint guard, a flapping wing of paper)

won’t tack us among them—the razed, their names, white light. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Death & Loss


Intersectionality & Culture

Violence & War

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times