Friday, May 29, 2020

"Fortunately" - Nava EtShalom

Nava EtShalom notes on her website that she "learned to talk in Jerusalem and to read in Brooklyn." A doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania, EtShalom is an educator who has taught literature and writing classes for undergraduates and political workshops in radical movement spaces.

She has taught poetry to kindergarteners.

She is now in Philly, describing herself at the end of her chapbook "Fortunately" as a "newly disabled poet" for which she offers no explanation other than the 23 poems upon these pages laid bare that reveal her spirit and the broken spaces within life for which there are no easy questions or answers.

EtShalom utilizes religious imagery that is immersive and intimate and universal, a spiritual tapestry of life's deepest moments stitched together by her "God of Suicides" and by the cultural waves that reverberate more deeply within us than we are often able to realize.

She feels these waves. These waves crash throughout "Fortunately."

Nava's poetry has won 92Y's Discovery Award, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and prizes from the Academy of American Poets. As an editor, she's worked on stories for "This American Life," the New York Times, and other outlets.

Familiarity with the meaning that grounds her imagery is helpful to fully appreciate the wonder that is "Fortunately," but it is by no means a requirements. "Fortunately" will breathe this understanding into you, perhaps not with words but with a soul that seems to understand.

"Fortunately" is worship and healing, gratitude and grace, grief and trauma. Celebration.

There is a sense of mosaic wholeness, a spirituality borne of love and innocence somehow existing, not quite peacefully but existing, amidst the violence that surrounds us and festers within us.

Due for release by Button Poetry on July 21st, "Fortunately" will engage, inform, challenge, and flicker like a solitary candle on a lonely rainy night.

No comments:

Post a Comment