A 420-page collection of poetry by Tunisian Moncef Ouhaibi, The Penultimate Cup covers a wide variety of topics. Rich in artistic, philosophical, literacy and historic values, Ouhaibi’s poems offer readers rich experiences, not just poetically but with the imparting of crucial knowledge, too, as his writing is steeped in his own extensive personal experiences. The Penultimate Cup begins with an autobiographical piece entitled "The Family," in which the poet chronicles his ancestral home and gives an account of his family life and childhood before poetry. "The Family" becomes a venue where his family members—those who influenced him the most—arrive in succession: his father, the village chief; his grandfather, the astrologer; his uncle, the chess player, his mother and the rest, while the places where he lived fashion the corners of the poem like furniture: the house, the jungle behind it, the sky above the Roman Amphitheater. Ouhaibi’s poetry combines several art genres, with few of the poems relying on narratives to merge reality with fiction. Poetic imagery is in abundance, his words transform into virtual art, music and philosophical ideas. "The Scream" poem for example, relates not to the sound of a person in pain but his image, which reminds the reader of the famous painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. “Oh Youssef,” writes Ouhaibi, “take my hand, while I scream like Munch in the wilderness”. Once Ouhaibi has established his distinctive style, he takes us deeper into his world, through a myriad of imagery; portraits painted with words. The author says that poetry should be attributed to the language itself, not geography, and in his work we see a host of cities and countries being constantly featured alongside his beloved hometown of Kairouan, making it easy to grasp the deep connection he has with the land. The nearly 60 poems in this collection are eloquent in expression, spanning events from the past, present to the future, sharing a contemporary voice that takes readers on a journey to numerous ancient cities and lands and referencing the works of other poets, artists and novelists, such as Rodin, Darwish, Valéry and the aforementioned Munch.