'A day will come when you won't miss
the country na nagluwal sa 'yo.'
- 'Antiemetic for Homesickness'
The poems in Romalyn Ante's luminous debut build a bridge between two worlds: journeying from the country 'na nagluwal sa 'yo' - that gave birth to you - to a new life in the United Kingdom.
Steeped in the richness of Filipino folklore, and studded with Tagalog, these poems speak of the ache of assimilation and the complexities of belonging, telling the stories of generations of migrants who find exile through employment - through the voices of the mothers who leave and the children who are left behind.
With dazzling formal dexterity and emotional resonance, this expansive debut offers a unique perspective on family, colonialism, homeland and heritage: from the countries we carry with us, to the places we call home.
'Moving, witty and agile' Observer
Captivating...playful...moving, witty and agile...These poems have a tended quality, as though Ante's kindness as a nurse extended to them. She is an unforced poet with a lightness of touch and fortitude, not neglecting to see her situation within a wider cultural and historical context
Ante's poems are like embers, pared back to a slow-burning emotional core whose intensity she sustains elegantly throughout the collection