Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. Asian American Studies. LUCKY FISH travels along a lush current—a confluence of leaping vocabulary and startling formal variety, with upwelling gratitude at its source: for love, motherhood, "new hope," and the fluid and rich possibilities of words themselves. With an exuberant appetite for "my morning song, my scurry-step, my dew," anchored in complicated human situations, this astounding young poet's third collection of poems is her strongest yet.
From Publishers Weekly: Nezhukumatathil's fourth book is fascinated with the small mechanisms of being, whether natural, personal, or imagined. Everything from eating eels in the Ozark mountains to the history of red dye finds a rich life in her poems. At times her lush settings and small stories are reminiscent of fairy tales ("The frog who wanted to see the sea was mostly disappointed"), while at others Nezhukumatathil speaks with resonance and fierceness: "The center of my hands boiled/ with blossoms when we made a family. I would never flee that garden. I swear to/ you here and now: If I ever go missing, know that I am trying to come home." Even as the poems jump from the Philippines to India to New York, they still take their time, stopping to notice that "there is no mystery on water/ greater than the absence of rust," and to draw small but wonderful parallels: "I loved you dark & late. The crocus have found ways to push up & say this/ too."
About the Author
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of LUCKY FISH (2011); AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007), winner of the Balcones Prize; and MIRACLE FRUIT (2003), winner of the Tupelo Press Prize, the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in poetry, and the Global Filipino Award. Her poetry and essays have been widely anthologized and have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Black Warrior Review, FIELD, Mid-American Review, and Tin House. Aimee was awarded a 2009 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, has twice served as a faculty member at the Kundiman retreat for Asian-American writers and has given readings and workshops from Amsterdam to San Francisco. She is associate professor of English at State University of New York-Fredonia, where she is a recipient of the campus-wide Hagan Young Scholar Award and the SUNY Chancellor's Medal for Scholarly and Creative Activities. She lives with her husband and two young sons.