Surviving Home is a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse.
Concisely arresting and challenging the beliefs of family and the fantasies of tradition, the poems in Surviving Home show that home is a place that you endure rather than a place where you are nurtured. With unyielding cadence and unparalleled sadness and warmth, Katerina Canyon contemplates the prejudice and limitations buried in a person's African American heritage: parents that seem to care for you with one hand and slap you with the other, the secret desires to be released from the daily burdens of life, as well as the surprising ways a child chooses to amuse herself. Finding resilience in the unexpected, this collection tears down the delicate facades of family.
Katerina Canyon is an Award Winning Poet, Best Selling Author, civil rights activist, and essayist. She will be releasing her new poetry collection ‘Surviving Home’ in December 2021, published by Kelsay Books.
“A harrowing collection by a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet… The poet’s language can also be visceral and gripping … An often cathartic and poignant set of poems about endurance and the cycle of abuse.” – Kirkus Reviews
Average rating from 5 members
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A phenomenal collection of poetry from this new-to-me author. While I enjoyed the entire book, the first half was especially fantastic. Highly recommend.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was around 3.5 stars for me, but I also recognize that I'm probably not the demographic it's intended for. These poems are honest and compelling. Canyon opens up about life, politics, and their experiences. It's a dark and difficult read at times. Canyon uses poetry to unweave the difficulties of family, racism, and sexism. It's heavy, captivating, and a thought provoking read.
TW: child abuse, SA, racial trauma ❛ Our situation is what it is: We are stuck. We can choose whether we are stuck In darkness or in light. ❜ ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Surviving Home is a poetry collection that gives insight into the traumatic childhood experiences one may face, making it seem almost like a memoir. Katerina Canyon, being an African American woman, navigates through her memories of child abuse and neglect, racial trauma and more with a ‘brutal’ honesty that might make this collection a heavy read, due to its vivid images.
What a heart wrenching book. Poetry always impacts me but my gosh this one hit right where it hurts. Would highly, highly recommend this author. Absolutely heartbreaking. Definitely look into the content warnings/ trigger warnings before reading.
4 stars The poet writes about her childhood traumas (& later traumas), how she copes with her past, & the ways she has been resilient in order to survive. Many of these poems are heartbreaking, but also beautiful & tender & powerful. [What I liked:] •The way the poet writes about some horrendous experiences is so eloquent & delicate yet fierce & unflinching. She wields an amazing brilliance with words & stories. •The poet skillfully ties together her past & present in her reflections, tracing how everything is connected, but also how she has found a way forward. They are very insightful poems. [What I didn’t like as much:] •In a few poems, the language got a bit purple. It felt like the poet was trying to cram as many multisyllabic words in as possible, which for me in those instances detracted from what she was trying to say. CW: child abuse, ableism, child sexual abuse, substance abuse, racism, police brutality, domestic violence, mental illness [I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]