Read Around Ohio: Set to Music a Wildfire

Ruth Awad


Ruth Awad’s first book of poetry Set to Music a Wildfire (2017) won Southern Indiana Review Press’ Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry.

The poems in this collection deal with a Lebanese Civil War’s survivor’s emigration to and life in America from his and the perspectives of those around him.

In an interview with Flypaper Lit, Awad said: “I’m just trying to tell a story that has personal meaning and that other people might relate to. The world is chaotic, and confusing, and mean; and I think one of the kind things in the world is art.”

In the poem “Surah al-Qiyamah: My Father Talks to God When Syria Occupies Tripoli, 1976,” amidst the violence of invasion, the speaker admits: “I love this fleeting world even / as I run through the streets, the heat slung on my back, / shots mottling the window where I bought bread.”  

If you enjoyed Set to Music a Wildfire, we suggest these Ohio side trips: