North of Paradise
Intelligent and introspective, the poems in North of Paradise travel from Eastern Europe to America and back again, fueled by the desire to belong and a hunger for home. This deep awareness of self as perpetual outsider strengthens the emotional landscape of the blessed and sometimes painful truths that Uzgiris uncovers about migration, nationality, and birthright.
- Rigoberto González, author of The Book of Ruin
North of Paradise traces restless wanderings around both the outer world of landscapes and borders, rivers and languages and the inner realm of memory and longing. Rimas Uzgiris's lyrical reportage on migration is candid, personal, contemporary. It is also timeless.
- Rachel Hadas, author of Poems for Camilla
"[...E]ndless pine trees shielding a cold gray sky, their pungent resin scent drowned in your nostrils by gunpowder, diesel, and blood" - that's Rimas Uzgiris, speaking passionately to the contingency of the Eastern European experience. After "soldiers crossed the continent / with flags, changing / all the names" the powerless have only their own language. Poetry is life or death in a threatened culture, in which you must recreate your history--and find ways to universalize it---against the din of globalized rhetoric and the imperatives of superpowers: "sipping black coffee, we translated again // turning self into other, yours into mine, / being reborn, or not, in every line." Uzgiris is a skeptic, displaced to the marrow, but the integrative power of the imagination shines throughout his work. A world the poet knows as "shards" is also the place where a child can eat milk soup with a wooden spoon. North of Paradise is a fierce and memorable book.
- D. Nurkse, author of Love in the Last Days
Format/pages: paperback / 104 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books