This is Natalya Sukhonos's second book of poetry. It maps the disorienting journey of returning home after a long absence. After six years of living in San Francisco, where her daughter was born, Natalya and her husband moved the family back to New York City; these poems are born of the defamiliarized effect of “arriv[ing] where we started and know[ing] the place for the first time”, as Eliot put it in “The Four Quartets.” Natalya relates the strangeness of my discoveries about home through estranged or unfamiliar language, and also through reconsidering the personal histories of family members in the context of migration from Soviet Ukraine.
My poetry press, Moon Pie Press of Westbrook, Maine, published this book, and I chose it. I can speak to why. This is a fascinating collection which I think is very strong. It is rich in different cultures and places and ranges from intimate domestic meditations to poems exploring more global ideas. Natalya has a strong and consistent voice that is mature. These poems will move you and make you think.
(If you are interested in exploring other Moon Pie Press books, we have a total of 114 published since 2003 by poets from all over the U.S. Website is at www.moonpiepress.com, and we have a Facebook page.)
A beautiful and compelling collection that's especially strong in tracing the mother-daughter connection across the generations, encompassing both new life and loss. The poems foreground images of light, and they luxuriate in the natural landscape. Set in locales from Ukraine to San Francisco, these poems seem dedicated to the notion is that "home" can be wherever one chooses to put down roots. Just lovely!
In this stunning poetry collection, Sukhonos paints a portrait of familial legacy and loss with strokes reminiscent of a painter. Despite the title, by the end of the book, this home is no longer a stranger to the reader; instead, Sukhonos invites us in to see the peeling wallpaper and the lived-in rooms. The whole collection is both insightful and heartbreaking but necessary.