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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 th 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. 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


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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 th 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. 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

30 review for Mother/land

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    One of the best books I've read all 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 g One of the best books I've read all 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 **Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alice-Elizabeth

    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 pa 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    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. *Thank you Netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.*

  5. 5 out of 5

    TW: Free Period Reviews

    I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers; all opinions are my own. Intersectionality is a hot topic in schools and discussions across the nation and Ananda Lima fulfills the promise her title suggests by highlighting the ways that her identity as immigrant and mother inform her experiences. Lima draws the reader into each situation she frames with detailed description of both the visual and auditory aspects of the sce I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers; all opinions are my own. Intersectionality is a hot topic in schools and discussions across the nation and Ananda Lima fulfills the promise her title suggests by highlighting the ways that her identity as immigrant and mother inform her experiences. Lima draws the reader into each situation she frames with detailed description of both the visual and auditory aspects of the scene. At the same time, she plays with form and sound, adding layers to the meaning and moments. That said, her experimentation in bringing complex truth to the forefront of each poem in interesting ways is, at times, ineffective. The collection has moments of pure beauty, but also moments that leave the reader confused and uncertain of the poet’s intention and this happens most often in the first section of the book. Many of the poems are rivers of thought interlaced, at times, with Portuguese phrases and figurative language that varies in effectiveness. Some of the later pieces hold magical insights that are masterfully developed, but I am not sure all readers will make it that far into the book. The most impressive element of this collection is how Lima uses description to both set the scene and embellish the experience a poem recounts. In “Vigil”, a poem which juxtaposes American and Brazilian perspectives, the speaker reflects on herself and her son as “the only ones/to retain a tan/like that of the stubborn few/late dry leaves outside/sitting on top of a pile/of snow”. Lima arranges her family in contrast to the American snowflakes wrapped up in jackets and scarves each winter, underscoring their outsider status. This separation echoes through a number of the poems where she craftily captures the immigrant experience. In “Mother tongue”, Lima uses the difference in recording dates as a way to emphasize the confusion that comes with melting into her new home. She notes, “I am caught/not knowing for certain/the day I was born/switching my birthday/from June to August”. Something as simple as the order that each country records dates symbolizes the questions of identity as the speaker assimilates into American culture. This poem also points out how she and her son are polarized by his American identity as she speaks to him “in my broken/version of his/language”. The distinction between immigrant mother and first generation American reveals the nature of the parent’s decision to leave home and acclimate to a new place. Teachable Moments: I cannot recommend this as a full collection for the classroom; too much of the work functions at a level that exceeds a high schooler’s analytical attention span for them to truly appreciate the craft. However, there are quite a few specific pieces that would be wonderful and accessible for students to work through. As a teacher in a suburban district with students whose families originate from many South American locations, Ananda Lima’s voice and tone are significant in capturing some of the tensions felt within their homes. Voices like this are necessary in the classroom so that students can experience the power of familiar voices and experiences while discovering their own. Poems including “PB&J”, “Mother Tongue”, “Cleaning the Colonial” and “When they come for us on the 7 train” explore the conflicts inherent in immigration. Her work would also be powerful as a way to look at strong description and word choice as she explores the fluidity of language in “Bird”, “Madrugada at grandma’s”, “Ode to Wet Concrete” and “Vacation Bed”. Students would also identify with aspects of parenthood and a parent’s longing to protect and elevate their child.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    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. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    This book of poetry is powerfully moving, and hits so many emotional chords. A true work of art! Perfect for any mother, or really any human looking for heart and prose that speaks to the human condition.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Labannya

    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 ter 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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura Vogt

    "I imagine my son grown, inhabiting another place feeling cold for your concrete counterparts always wishing for you." A winding, honest rumination on motherhood and home. On being an immigrant and on the little moments in life, moments seemingly so mundane as a mom of a toddler. I enjoyed the specific moments she highlighted and how she gathered so many seemingly unique experiences and thoughts into one poem. "I imagine my son grown, inhabiting another place feeling cold for your concrete counterparts always wishing for you." A winding, honest rumination on motherhood and home. On being an immigrant and on the little moments in life, moments seemingly so mundane as a mom of a toddler. I enjoyed the specific moments she highlighted and how she gathered so many seemingly unique experiences and thoughts into one poem.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alyson

    As always, Ananda demonstrates her ability to capture the human condition. Her lyricak writing connects cultures through the common thread of motherhood. Beautiful, thoughtful poetry.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    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 lega 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!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hanson

    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 an 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Кайла الوزير

    As someone who feels broken in half between identities and cultures, who struggles to grapple with raising a child that doesn't come from my background, or being in a relationship with someone who is so different to what I understand about my own self -I feel like I should have enjoyed this more. While some of her poems and her insights are wonderful, I felt overall the collection was disjointed and detached. Personally I didn't find myself moved by any poem. However, I think most people will en As someone who feels broken in half between identities and cultures, who struggles to grapple with raising a child that doesn't come from my background, or being in a relationship with someone who is so different to what I understand about my own self -I feel like I should have enjoyed this more. While some of her poems and her insights are wonderful, I felt overall the collection was disjointed and detached. Personally I didn't find myself moved by any poem. However, I think most people will enjoy this work and will find something they love in it so I wouldn't persuade anyone against it. I just wish I enjoyed it more myself. Thank you to NetGalley and Black Lawrence Press for the opportunity to read this and provide my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hadas Almagor

    Mother/land is a beautiful collection of poems about immigration and motherhood. Highly recommend!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Rodriguez

    I was lucky enough to be granted an ARC of this poetry collection by Netgalley, and so I want to start off with a thank you to the publisher for providing me with this opportunity. However, I wish I could say I enjoyed this more. As a fan of poetry and OwnVoices stories, I quickly requested this collection. However, in the total 90 pages I read, I struggled in finding actual substance in the writing. The writing itself was beautiful, utilizing flowy prose to analyze anecdotes. The structures of I was lucky enough to be granted an ARC of this poetry collection by Netgalley, and so I want to start off with a thank you to the publisher for providing me with this opportunity. However, I wish I could say I enjoyed this more. As a fan of poetry and OwnVoices stories, I quickly requested this collection. However, in the total 90 pages I read, I struggled in finding actual substance in the writing. The writing itself was beautiful, utilizing flowy prose to analyze anecdotes. The structures of the poems were not diverse enough, in my personal opinion, which made it feel longer than it was at times, However, in all of the images present, none of them truly resonated with me. Despite this, I did enjoy the poems "Eclipse", "Every moon", "Mother Tongue", "Portrait", and "Cleansing the Colonial." There were no overarching themes, and poems did not seem to fit together in a cohesive puzzle. Similarly, the language at times bordered on being too literal. The poems existed independent of each other, which made it hard to truly understand the experiences it was attempting to depict. In all, I am saddened to say that Mother/land was relatively forgettable in my reading experience.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beulah

    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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Callum McLaughlin

    An interesting dissection of language and identity within the context of life as an immigrant mother. The success of poetry depends almost entirely on whether you click with the poet’s style, and that’s a wholly subjective thing. So while I have no specific complaints about this collection, per se, it hasn’t become a new favourite either. That said, there are a few gems to be found, and those who see their own experiences reflected in Lima’s will likely find it a considerably more powerful read. An interesting dissection of language and identity within the context of life as an immigrant mother. The success of poetry depends almost entirely on whether you click with the poet’s style, and that’s a wholly subjective thing. So while I have no specific complaints about this collection, per se, it hasn’t become a new favourite either. That said, there are a few gems to be found, and those who see their own experiences reflected in Lima’s will likely find it a considerably more powerful read. Thank you to the publisher for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathryne Squilla

    Beautiful and moving poems. Each time I read the poems I find new ideas to contemplate. Lima's writing is deep and affecting. Beautiful and moving poems. Each time I read the poems I find new ideas to contemplate. Lima's writing is deep and affecting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    fran

    amazing work! stunning debut

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anny Barros

    Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. “I can’t hear myself in accent. I can’t tell the difference.” 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 p Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. “I can’t hear myself in accent. I can’t tell the difference.” 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. “When I first arrived in America, I didn’t understand what people meant when they said with an American accent that they were Irish or Italian or French. Now that I understand, I asked my mother for a family tree. She said she had never thought of such things, and she wouldn’t know much past her grandmother’s first name. So what I have is my memory of the faces of my relatives and my own.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen Hunt

    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 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. Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    3.5 stars Thank you to BooksGoSocial for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. Mother/land is a beautiful poetry collection exploring the interplay between motherhood and immigration, commenting on legacy, ancestry, belonging, and the distinction between a place and a home. The imagery is gorgeous, but while I could see how well-selected each word was, I engage with the poems emotionally. This was vastly improved in the second act, which included some favourites such as PB&J and What 3.5 stars Thank you to BooksGoSocial for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. Mother/land is a beautiful poetry collection exploring the interplay between motherhood and immigration, commenting on legacy, ancestry, belonging, and the distinction between a place and a home. The imagery is gorgeous, but while I could see how well-selected each word was, I engage with the poems emotionally. This was vastly improved in the second act, which included some favourites such as PB&J and What I think about when I think about gravitational waves. The collection builds to a crescendo with ‘Mother Tongue’ which is raw, vivid, and vulnerable. The third act continues in the same fashion with Cleaning the Colonial, When they come for us on the 7th train, and Bee. The order of each poem was very well organised and built an incredibly cohesive arc throughout the collection of seeking a different life, being excluded from the American dream you were sold, the relief of watching your children be accepted but losing the part of them that ties them to your ancestors, and grappling with motherhood in a harsh world that threatens the protection of childhood. Thee blend of English and Portuguese further supported this in the most stunning way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    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. 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    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? 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?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nuha

    Thank you to Books Go Social and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy! Now available. Eloquent and elusive, Ananda Lima's Mother/Land is a meditation on motherhood, motherland and Mother tongue. Flowing effortlessly between Portuguese and English, the book takes place in a liminal space between Brazil and America. As a new Mother myself, I deeply related to Lima's worries of not being rooted in either culture enough & how that would impact her parenting. A great debut collection! Thank you to Books Go Social and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy! Now available. Eloquent and elusive, Ananda Lima's Mother/Land is a meditation on motherhood, motherland and Mother tongue. Flowing effortlessly between Portuguese and English, the book takes place in a liminal space between Brazil and America. As a new Mother myself, I deeply related to Lima's worries of not being rooted in either culture enough & how that would impact her parenting. A great debut collection!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Flynn

    I've not gotten my hands on the book yet, but I know Ananda Lima's work from hearing her at readings around New York. She is a subtle and heartfelt poet with a unique take on life in the U.S. and many feelings about it. I know this collection will be amazing, and I am looking forward to reading it. I've not gotten my hands on the book yet, but I know Ananda Lima's work from hearing her at readings around New York. She is a subtle and heartfelt poet with a unique take on life in the U.S. and many feelings about it. I know this collection will be amazing, and I am looking forward to reading it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danica Novgorodoff

    Ananda Lima's poetry explores the way a writer and a mother inhabits two cultures at once, while exploring the limitations and possibilities of language(s). The poems provide a lyrical, moving insight into the immigrant experience and the emotional journeys of motherhood and a search for the meaning of home. I also found Lima's use of form inventive and exciting. Highly recommended! Ananda Lima's poetry explores the way a writer and a mother inhabits two cultures at once, while exploring the limitations and possibilities of language(s). The poems provide a lyrical, moving insight into the immigrant experience and the emotional journeys of motherhood and a search for the meaning of home. I also found Lima's use of form inventive and exciting. Highly recommended!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    This beautiful collection not only explores themes of motherhood and immigration, but also the turmoil of modern American capitalism. The poems intertwine Portuguese and English, and in doing so confront the language of America: the assertion of exceptionalism, the doctrine of freedom, the use of force. Mother/land is a strong and thoughtful work and I highly recommend it!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pelden Wangchuk

    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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