Antiemetic for Homesickness
*Longlisted for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas prize 2021*
*Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2021*
*An Irish Times and Poetry School Book of the Year 2020*
‘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
‘By turns playful and tender, offering a formally-various exploration of migration, community, and nursing… there is honesty, musicality, a powerful heart’ Irish Times
Ante is an adept artist who can seamlessly internalise the external and externalise the internal... This collection is also a treatise on mothering, un-mothering, and more significantly, remothering. The book is dedicated to Ante's mother, whose presence in many forms is palpable and penetrating -- Cuilin Sang * Poetry Birmingham * The 35 poems in this collection document stories of yearning as well as pluck and hard love... I'm rewarded with the privilege of witnessing how the poet-speaker's attention and empathy for others in the world continues to generously unfold -- Luisa A. Igloria * RHINO * Ante has an assured hand, with a mastery of form and freshness of vision... these are poems that pay testimony to Ante's deep sense of humanity, authenticity, and caring, together with a desire to make the best of what life brings -- Mary Mulholland * The Alchemy Spoon * Romalyn Ante's debut collection presents an important and magical display of culture and perspective. There is always that memory that pervades someone's mind of what it is to migrate from one's home to another place. How are the people back home? The people who were left behind, how are they? Have they changed? [Antiemetic for Homesickness] aims to tackle those questions with folklore and spirit and honor -- Shaun Anto * Columbia Journal * Ante's poems are like embers, pared back to a slow-burning emotional core whose intensity she sustains elegantly throughout the collection -- Stephanie Sy-Quia * Times Literary Supplement * What might it mean to survive the incandescent distances between here and all we've ever left behind-the languages, the myths, the keepsakes and names? How can we return to lost things and those who love us, relearn what draws away from memory? Romalyn Ante traces paths back through such questions with the grace of lancets, illuminating scars and landscapes, celebrating the "invisible...goddesses of caring and tending" in this brilliant collection. It is something of miracle to experience a debut that charts our "dislocated world" with such incisive generosity. I am beyond grateful for these poems-each one pulsing with "the rhythm of a shockable heart." -- R.A. Villanueva Romalyn Ante is a poet to fall in love with. A flower of both the Philippines and the Black Country, her vivid, sensual poems weave a fascinating and moving story of migration and loss, caring and tenderness -- Liz Berry A poetry of rapturous images and riveting conscience -- Tracy K. Smith 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 -- Kate Kelloway * Observer *Poetry Book of the Month* *
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