Born in Brazil, Aline Mello immigrated to the United States in 1997. Using her experience as an undocumented woman during a time of incredible flux and tension, Mello’s debut collection of poetry, More Salt than Diamond, speaks to her struggles while also addressing the larger cultural issues on an inclusive and global scale.
Lyrical, moving, deeply emotional, and sometimes painful to read, Mello uses exquisitely sharp yet widely accessible language to crack open a life in multitudes. She shines a rare light on what it means to be a Brazilian immigrant in diaspora, stretched thin between borders and fraught family tension yet belonging nowhere. Aline is poised to not only change the face of Latinx poetry in years to come but to redefine the power of undocumented creators and artists.
A Note From the Publisher
We regret this E-galley is not available for Kindle viewing.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 34 members
I was thrilled to get the chance to review Aline Mello's debut book of poetry ‘More Salt Than Diamond' via Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing. It centers around the author’s experience as an immigrant from Brazil, as a woman, and the way those things intersect.
Racism, objectification, eating disorders, misogyny, and the mistreatment of immigrants are stitched together seamlessly, illustrating intersectionality with words. These complicated topics are sewn with one common thread: vulnerability. Good art is always vulnerable, and Mello peels back the layers of her resiliency with grace.
In the poem about her mother, the author's last line is, "I'm selfish. I want to die first." I got chills throughout my entire body, as I do when another artist or writer captures an emotion I haven't been able to put into words prior.
When talking about her father, she writes, "a father's lack stains like oil." Mello reaches deep into her roots, not just her country of origin, but her parents, their parents, and the ancestors before them. It's a meditation on generational trauma, bonds, and heartbreak.
I'll finish my review with a few lines from "Salt Water,"
Squinting in the sunlight, you will wonder
what part ocean, what part sweat, and
what part tears is the salt on your tongue
This is a beautiful debut collection, I highly recommend it.