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Poetry collection by Michal Rubin


Michal Rubin's Home Visit is more than a book of poems-it is a demand, righteous and insistent, that we forge a better world. A daughter of Israel and a fierce critic of it, Rubin's poems linger on the details of Israeli occupation: demolished homes, brutalized old men, water-starved villages. Rubin refuses the easy platitudes, "the chanted words / of well- meaning protesters." Instead, she insists, "Words are steps on hot coals." Take it as a promise: these poems will burn away hypocrisy and willful ignorance. Take it as a warning: these poems will sear your heart.

-Toby Altman, author of Discipline Park


Michal Rubin's poems of "awoken brokenness" are full of domestic detail-the smell of caramelizing onions, the sleek paper of a childhood story. Such details conjure a world that has shaped the poet indelibly, her feet "marked with the imprint" of the Israel that she has traversed, that she struggles, still, to call home. In poems of grief and outrage, Rubin refigures home to include the Palestinians who also are "held/by the groove of dismayed land." And so we too must be haunted by the image of a child clutching a pillow beside a demolished house. Rubin's incisive, insistent vision takes up the ironies of history and makes them intimate. We cannot refuse to listen when she inscribes her anguish "in the deafness of here." These searing poems make clear that until we learn to embrace our neighbors, we are all in exile.

-Elizabeth Robinson

Home Visit

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