Through poems that utilize hypnotic religious imagery, Nava EtShalom carries readers through an emotional seascape; crashing over on waves of worship. Fortunately unpacks ideas about relationships with family, God, and the self. Each poem is pieced together carefully as a house of cards, and ends solid as a stitched spine. What is left in the body after identity has been assumed? Where does one go to reconcile generations of trauma? EtShalom, is unafraid to ask questions with seemingly impossible answers.
Praise for Fortunately
Hauntingly original, this spare but rich collection weaves an emotionally complex tapestry that includes bits of history and Biblical tradition as well as fragments of our calamitous present. Moving by suggestion and association rather than linear narrative or argument, Nava EtShalom crafts subtle coherence from beautifully singing lines and constantly surprising language.
– Martha Collins, author of Because What Else Could I Do
Nava EtShalom’s Fortunately registers the note of regret its title bears by ingenious means. You can take time thinking about it, but EtShalom, a witty, meticulous and astute poet, has delivered her verdict on our times and their horrors of displacement, devastation and guiltless equanimity in the face of violence. EtShalom’s evidence goes back to her begats and ours, her yearnings and ours. She almost redeems us by noting an unstoppable capacity for love within us and by registering that innocence does exist. Otherwise, the countless unforgivables that we lay at the feet of misfortune are luminously, even beautifully rendered. Fortunately is a powerful collection by a gifted and deeply engaging poet.
– Khaled Mattawa, author of Fugitive Atlas
About Nava EtShalom
Nava EtShalom learned to talk in Jerusalem and to read in Brooklyn. Now she’s a poet, teacher, and editor in Philadelphia. As a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania, Nava writes about Anglophone literary representations… MORE