Published in Baghdad in 2006, Falcon with Sun Overhead
and The Age of Entertainment
inspired a new generation of Iraqi poets, charmed by Ra’ad’s ability to write tender poems in times of destruction and fury. While many of his peers were writing poems about battlefields and faraway exiles, Ra’ad was looking closer in, at the loneliness of those left behind. Hailed for its cinematic portrait of Iraq under sanctions—the bread queues, busy cemeteries, empty schools, and the impossible departures and returns, Ra’ad’s work commemorates the wonders of a city staying still, one blink at a time. Except for This Unseen Thread
, the first collection of Ra’ad’s work in English translation, is comprised of poems selected from both titles, with an introduction by the translator.