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The Hudson Prize Winner

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ISBN: 978-1-62557-026-0
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Mother/land

Publication Date: October 2021

About

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.

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

About the Author

Ananda Lima

Ananda Lima’s work has appeared or is upcoming in The American Poetry Review, Poets.org, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Jubilat, The Common, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbooks Translation (Paper Nautilus, 2019, winner of the 2018 Vella Chapbook Prize), Tropicália (Newfound, forthcoming, winner of the 2020 Newfound Prose Prize) and Amblyopia (forthcoming, Bull City Press - INCH micro-chapbook series). She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.

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