2024 Festival:
October 21–27
shima book cover image

Available Now

Penguin Random House Canada

  • Poetry

A vivid, expansive vision of intergenerational witness and repair.

The village is tilting on its axis. It is turning. All its organs are spilling into the bay.

shima is a mosaic of the emotional, psychic, and generational toll that exile from a pillaged culture impresses on a poet and his community. Come to haunt yamagushiku’s practice of ancestor veneration are photographs and a narrative that spans his own life and a mythic parallel filled with a voice as spare as it is present, yearning as it is precise. The poet says, I am taking the sharpest stick and poking the root ancestor. I am insisting that if he awakens I will have something useful to say.

Speaking through a cultural amnesia collected between a sunken past and a sensed, ghostly-dreamed future, shima anchors this interrogation of the relationship between father and son in the fragile connective tissue of memory where the poet’s homeland is an impossible destination.