Mother/land

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Pub Date 15 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 15 Oct 2021

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Description

Mother/land, winner of the 2020 Hudson Prize, is focused on the intersection of motherhood and immigration and its effects on a speaker’s relationship to place, others and self.

It investigates the mutual and compounding complications of these two shifts in identity while examining legacy, history, ancestry, land, home, and language.

The collection is heavily focused on the latter, including formal experimentation with hybridity and polyvocality, combining English and Portuguese, interrogating translation and transforming traditional repeating poetic forms.

These poems from the perspective of an immigrant mother of an American child create a complex picture of the beauty, danger and parental love the speaker finds and the legacy she brings to her reluctant new motherland.

Mother/land, winner of the 2020 Hudson Prize, is focused on the intersection of motherhood and immigration and its effects on a speaker’s relationship to place, others and self.

It investigates the...


Advance Praise

“There is so much unbridled joy and pained tenderness in Ananda Lima’s poetry. Inspired by the poet Nathaniel Mackey and the musician Caetano Veloso, her verse streams effortlessly down the page, plaiting English with Portuguese, as Lima sings of the thrills and terrors of her new life in America, the pleasures of motherhood, and what she inherited from her family. Her voice is singular and wise and fresh. I love the poems in this collection.” —Cathy Park Hong

“Ananda Lima’s Mother/land is as much a mother’s grappling with how to raise her son amid the danger and violence of today’s America as it is an investigation of a daughter’s inherited, migrant Brazilian past. Lima’s poetry has the rare power to let us feel and “know the terror” of the present moment, while reflecting on ancestry and passing on familial legacy to the next generation. Her poems aren’t afraid to “shout ‘I’m an American citizen’ ” across borders and languages, while shattering the security of presumed identity and recognizing both the precarity and privilege of citizenship. Piercing and poignant, Lima’s voice and music stay with you, “undisturbed / by wind or water, there will always remain/ a footprint” guiding your way home.” —Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

“In Ananda Lima’s luminous debut, the cultural landscape stretches vertically, from the bustling US cities to the tropical waters of Brazil. English communes with Portuguese, shaping a language that is musical and enchanting, though not without tension. For this speaker, hard-hitting questions about homeland, nationality and citizenship persist, as does the search for home. Mother/land gives breath to the immigrant’s bittersweet songs about what is gained with migration and what is lost, what can be recovered and what will remain out of reach.”—Rigoberto González

“There is so much unbridled joy and pained tenderness in Ananda Lima’s poetry. Inspired by the poet Nathaniel Mackey and the musician Caetano Veloso, her verse streams effortlessly down the page...


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ISBN 9781625570260
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Featured Reviews

This collection of poetry is a must read. It focuses on motherhood and immigration. It’s written from the perspective of an immigrant mother of an American child. Some of the poems broke my heart. The poem, “When they come for us on the 7 train” almost had me in tears and I can’t stop thinking about that piece. I really enjoyed how Ananda Lima had both English and Portuguese mixed in the poems.

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Mother/Land is an easily accessible poetry collection that explores themes of identity, migration and belonging and parenthood. The poems topics range from political figures to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, language and bees, but regardless of the topic the themes explored remain constant. The language is beautiful throughout and I I loved the way the poet played with the layout and presentation of the poem.

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This is a poetry collection which deals with immigration. The idea of identity and the general experiences of being an immigrant was explored. There are constant references to how different life is in New York (USA) when compared to life in Brazil. There are also references to the constant struggle between missing home (the 'motherland') and learning to live and love their new home. In terms of the language used, a lot of the poems were told with a beautiful mix of English and Portuguese. Also, in general, the language was so dreamy. 'Eclipse' is my favourite poem mainly because of how dreamy and gorgeous the language is. Overall, I was able to relate to a lot of the ideas surrounding immigration. I think because I was able to understand and relate to these emotions and ideas on a more personal level it contributed to my positive experience reading these poems. Highly recommended.

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Mother/land by Ananda Lima BooksGoSocial OwnVoices | Poetry OwnVoices Poetry Pub Date 15 Oct 2021 I am reviewing a copy of Mother/land through BooksGoSocial/OwnVoices and Netgalley: Mother/land was the winner of the 2020 Hudson Prize. The collection of poetry is focused on the intersection of motherhood and immigration and its effects on a speaker’s relationship to place, others and self. This book investigates the mutual and compounding complications of these two shifts in identity while examining legacy, history, ancestry, land, home, and language. Mother/land is heavily focused on the latter, including formal experimentation with hybridity and polyvocality, combining English and Portuguese, interrogating translation and transforming traditional repeating poetic forms. If you are looking for a collection of poetry written from the perspective of an immigrant Mother of an American child, Mother/land is the book for you. I give Motherland five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

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Mother/land by Ananda Lima is a stunning collection in the voice of an immigrant mother of an American child. I loved the lyrical quality of the seamless blending of Portuguese and English and, indeed, there is a heavy emphasis throughout on language and its place in the speaker's new motherland. The love of a parent is woven amongst the exploration of the immigrant experience, and the result is mesmerizing and, quite simply, beautiful. Many thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for an ARC.

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Lima’s lyrical work reflects on motherhood and the immigrant experience; especially getting used to life in American culture. As a New Yorker I found many ways to connect to the constant motion and assault of new sounds/flavors/in reality, prejudices present in boroughs. One of my favorite moments was the reflection on the indulgence of a first PB&J sandwich, once looked upon in disdain and unfamiliarity. I am considering using this text to explore CRSE with colleagues. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.

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Mother/ Land by @anandalima I always preferred poems, proses over any other genre in literature. So, reading this beautiful book made to think in a deeper level. Mother Land focuses on motherhood and immigration. I noticed that it's written in first person and from the perspective of and immigrant mother to an American child. This book is powerfully moving and hits the chord on the right segment. I'm not amazed that this book won 2020s #hudsonprize because it deserves it. It talked about the terror unknown from the new motherland of how to raise her child amid the violence and danger in today's America and also what she inherited from her family, ancestors simply migrant Brazilian past. It also reflects passing on familial legacy to the next generation. One thing I'd like to be honest with you that as I'm from India, Portuguese language I'm not familiar with but I enjoyed the book so heartily. I love the layouts even, written in suchban unique style. I'd recommend this book to everyone but as it's pure art and some may or might not understand the concept of the book! Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own. Thank you @netgalley and @blacklawrencepress for the #arc in exchange for an honest review.

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One of the best books I've read al year, this short collection was powerful and heartfelt and moving and beautiful. It helped me understand immigration and motherhood and even the USA a little better. 'When they come for us on the 7 train' was heartbreaking but I think my favorite was PB&J: PB & J As a foreigner my identity was against it by default But later as a mother I was to make sandwiches I turned away from my American child to hide a grimace as the knife slid on the oily surface extracting a hanging grub the mustard of dusty, old midcentury velvet couches I nagged my husband for separate utensils fear of contamination Then, one day I was stranded starving under a sleeping child The sandwich still under his chubby fingers bitten only once about to fall I moved the free arm closed my eyes as survivors on TV brought it to my lips and bit it Sweet swirls swimming in fat Thick, creamy Fat fromage de meaux Unpasteurized Beautiful body of butter The jelly sandwiches of the past were the ones meant only for children dry and bodiless the superficial joy of chips from a vending machine As I prepared to bite again More than in that citizenship swearing ceremony earlier that month I felt As an American

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The front cover is really good which draw me to the book at first sight. There was some poems I did enjoy but others that I found hard to relate to but overall I enjoyed the book. Thank you NetGalley for letting me read this book.

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Thank you netgalley for this arc🙏🏻 The poems focused on state of being motherhood and immigration and its effects on a certain factors. It meticulously focus deeply on certain themes like love, attachment, repercussions and acceptance.

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Go read this book, right now. This is a sensual, intense, brilliant poetic account of Lima's move to and life in America, with frequent homages to poet Nathaniel Mackey and the musician Caetano Veloso. The text moves lyrically between English and Portuguese and never loses a beat. Lima writes about nationality and motherhood, what borders mean and how she raises her son in America. I could--and will--read this repeatedly, and can't wait to teach it and share it with other readers.

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Mother/land, 4 stars. This is a collection of some truly beautiful poetry. "Vigil" was definitely my favorite. Lima has an amazing hold on language, whether English or Portuguese. These poems are raw and candid, an outpouring of emotion and uncertainty and longing. What makes up a person's identity? How does motherhood change that? Can a person truly be whole when they are split between countries, worlds?

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The intersection between motherhood and motherland/ immigration is explored with sensitivity by Ananda Lima in this collection. I understand why the poet blended English with Portuguese, but as a reader of only English, it wasn't to my taste. I was able to enjoy, however, many of the poems and the spirit of the publication. Thank you to the publisher and poet for an advanced copy.

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Mother/land is an Own Voices collection of poems by Ananda Lima. As far as content is concerned, Lima focuses on the experience of parenting in a foreign land; as far as style is concerned, Lima experiments with form and writes in both English and Portuguese. Her tone is tender at times and then piercing and poignant. For me, there were very few shortcomings in Mother/land. I bring my own weaknesses to the text because there were some cultural references that I did not know or understand, and I am not familiar with Portuguese. These are not detrimental to the the book as whole because there are still many entry points with several of the poems. It's hard to choose one favorite, but I really enjoyed "Mother Tongue," "Toast to America," and "Bird." While I'm not sure if I fully grasp the meaning of them, I liked the diction and the rhythm of these poems. "Mother Tongue" illustrates the importance of language and how it keeps one connected to culture, yet she's forced to give in and speak to her son in her "broken version of his language." This undoubtedly puts some distance between herself and her son because although she wants to share as much with him as possible, she recognizes the limitations of speaking Portuguese in a land with an "unofficial official language." The poem is dated 11/09/2016, so I interpreted some subtle political commentary. I felt similar vibes in "Toast to America," as she says, "Like that/ I overstayed/here it went by so quickly," and now she is "burnt," just like the toast in her toaster oven. Lastly, "Bird" stood out because of the lines, "Do I tell my four year old son it has no room to fly that the net over the sky could never be high enough." While this poem has some sly political commentary, it also illustrates how parents have to find ways to speak to their children about difficult topics, i.e. the limitations one faces in life, especially as it pertains the "American Dream" and the illusion of freedom, notably for immigrants. While I'm not sure I could fully appreciate all the poems in the collection, I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Own Voices books and some challenging, thought-provoking poetry.

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A prize-winning collection from Ananda Lima, Mother/land explores the way becoming a parent and an immigrant impact our identities. Lima weaves together English and Portuguese to tell stories about what we carry with us from the past, what happens when a new life (physical and metaphorical) arrives to push out the old and the feelings of discombobulation, joy and loss this brings. The result is a confident, skillful collection that gives a personal twist to a universal story.

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Reading this poetry collection was a life-changing experience. I’ve been an avid poetry reader for about four years now, and I admit that most of my reading revolves around American poets. So, at this point, I’m very familiar with the English language. But, from the beginning, I’ve always sought more diverse poets, maybe because I latched with their poetry more than the average white poet (even though I’m white myself). What I loved the most about these poets, was the way they talked about their identity through their poems, be it their race or ethnicity, sexuality, gender, etc. To me, that was what brought those poems to light and made them so damn gorgeous. But since these four years began, this is the first time I read a Brazilian poet writing in English and by extension also in Brazilian Portuguese - something I feel deserved more attention, because I first though the author was Portuguese and not Brazilian. There’s a different, even so slightly, between these two languages and that should be pointed out -, and doing so beautifully. Another thing I love about writers who have English as their secondary language (instead of their primary), it’s how they bleed - or switch, per se - into their mother-tongue while writing, while expressing themselves. I believe my first encounter with such a method was while reading Ocean Vuong’s poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, where he makes some remarks in Vietnamese instead of English. And I LOVED that. As someone whose mother-tongue isn’t English, I feel a different sort of connection while reading someone express themselves in something other than English. I understood that so deeply. So that might be one of the reasons why I loved this poetry collection so much. Ananda Lima created a beautiful tapestry, woven poetry between English and Brazilian Portuguese words, talking about her complicated relationship as an immigrant in America, while also looking back with saudade (a Brazilian word that can be roughly translated as a nostalgic feeling) to her Brazilian roots. This poetry collection was its own soul and I think it’s a very beautiful one. I loved that this was my first time reading a Brazilian author expressing themselves in both English and Brazilian Portuguese. May this collection open more doors to other Brazilian poets currently residing in the United States. Would definitely recommend this collection to people who like poets such as Ocean Vuong, Ada Limón, Eduardo C. Corral and Victoria Chang.

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Thank you netgalley for this arc🙏🏻 The poems focused on state of being motherhood and immigration and its effects on a certain factors. It meticulously focus deeply on certain themes like love, attachment, repercussions and acceptance.

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Thank you to the publisher Black Lawrence Press for the opportunity to review Mother/Land in advance of its publication in October 2021. What struck me first about Ananda's writing style is the dual-language (English and Portuguese) which was used throughout the collection as the perspective to an American child from a mother who had immigrated to the states was beautiful. The formatting is both welcoming and accessible to all readers and at moments, I found myself transported into a cafe or a park bench setting as if Ananda was actually having a conversation with me. This collection of reading and learning about finding purpose, belonging, and what it truly means to call a place home had lots of emotional reflections on remembering the past and keeping your ancestry close, allowing it to shape you into the person you become today. I can see why Mother/Land has also become an award-winning collection after winning the Hudson Prize. If it was a little longer in length, I would have enjoyed it even more. I will be seeking an order request for a copy to my library.

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This is a solid collection from Ananda Lima, exploring life as a mother and immigrant to the US from Brazil. The mix of English and Portuguese was nicely done. Some of the poems - PB&J, Mother Tongue, and Toast to America - are particular standouts. Thanks to Black Lawrence Press for making a digital ARC available through NetGalley..

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This collection of poetry is very different than I have ever read before. However, the language that it is written in was absolutely breathtaking. I felt as if I was right there with the narrator in their home country and going through each situation side by side with them. I highly recommend this poetry collection to anybody!

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Heartfelt and honest, Ananda Lima’s debut poetry collection Mother/land is at once a song of motherhood, a lament for home, and a meditation on the immigrant struggle to find true belonging in the U.S. As an immigrant from Brazil and parent of an American-born son, Lima uses her poems to reflect on both grief over her personal experiences and the fierce, self-sacrificial love for her child that brought her through those difficulties. In Mother/land, an interest in divisions and multiplicity permeates both form and content — a focus that is perhaps best illustrated in the stylistic rendition of the title itself. Lima’s simple slash symbol explodes the word “motherland” into several layers of encounters with grief. Thematically, Lima grapples with a series of dualities: past and present, Brazil as her homeland and America as her new land, identities as an immigrant and mother. Her poems construct a smooth, moving interplay between autobiography, national history, and anticipation of the future for her son. While many poems explore the tensions between immigrant identities, I was also especially interested in the way Lima weaves together different kinds of language — Portuguese, biblical language, dialogue associated with settings ranging from airport security checkpoints to architecture tours. In “Seven American Sentences,” Lima uses language from the Genesis creation story in conjunction with shameful aspects of the United States’s human rights record, coolly drawing attention to the discrepancy between proclaimed American ideals and the reality of injustice. Beyond detailing Lima’s modern-day experiences with feeling “other” in the U.S., Mother/land draws extensively on American history as part of Lima’s internal wrestling with the reality of the U.S. as her new country, far removed both geographically and socially from her motherland. In “Cleaning the Colonial,” Lima repurposes the language of colonialism when addressing her house, almost like a reclamation of that act of possession: “I occupy your hollow rooms and populate them with private song.” She also confronts the reality that, despite the immigrant’s enduring struggle for a sense of belonging, the once independent strands of history between herself and the foreign country she moved to have since become inextricable: By now we understand you don’t really belong to me and I don’t really belong but we have come to accept that our histories have commingled Lima compellingly evokes the complexity of the immigrant experience by portraying blurred and unclear divisions. In “monday between [[impeachment or [something]] and the end of the world],” we visualize the lack of an audible distinction between words: I can’t tell the difference morning | mourning luto | luto… perfume | perfume One element that most powerfully distinguishes Mother/land from other immigrant narratives to me is the collection’s resounding musicality. Repetitions of similar-sounding Portuguese words drive poems like “every moon,” which read like chants or songs that are at once artful and unrestrained, metered and intense, brimming with emotion and soul. Similarly, in the collection’s final poem, “Berimbau,” the infusions of Portuguese add a musical quality as rhythmic and percussive as the “beat of running” and the “meat and bones cracking / dirt” that the poem describes, culminating in a rapturous ending: Bimba Toque de luna we follow o compaço de aço o compaço do passo o compaço da culpa do Sol Meanwhile, “Translation” and “Moving Sale” experiment ambitiously with form, re-imagining the structures of the sestina and the pantoum by replacing moments of pure repetition with Portuguese translations. Additionally, though I was initially skeptical of Lima’s enjambment choices, I came to appreciate how her collection-wide style of short broken lines seems to evoke the effort it takes to learn and speak English as a second language (with her own language itself remaining ever graceful and poignant): I was afraid for him speaking anything other than the unofficial official language of this land which is not my land despite the claims it makes in song I gave in and spoke to him in my broken version of his language Since the U.S. fails to live up to its ideals as described in songs — the land of the free, a country that welcomes all and celebrates diversity — Lima writes her own poems into song. Whether immigrants ourselves or not, Mother/land can speak to the many of us who have grappled with existing in a national context that puts up barriers on so many fronts, from language to physical movement. Lima’s collection resounds with both incantations in her mother tongue and with English refrains that burn blue with longing, with the search for home.

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A really beautiful collection of poems. Some of them were perhaps a little abstract and hard to follow, which isn't usually a problem in poetry, seeing as it's not a narrative form, but I found that some of them were trying to tell me a story I couldn't quite grasp; perhaps that's the point, as our life experiences are so different. Lima's language is absolutely wonderful, though, at once elegaic and euphoric, and her use of both Portuguese and English in the same poems is a really interesting way of weaving together the dual facets of her identity. I would recommend reading this one slowly.

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MOTHER/LAND by poet Ananda Lima is a beautiful exploration of motherhood and the migrant experience through English and, sometimes, Spanish. Lima uses two languages to construct a deeply moving narrative about the hardship of being a parent in a hostile land you aren't sure you belong to despite laws, borders, and blood.

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