In the Current Where Drowning Is Beautiful by Abigail Chabitnoy
Wesleyan University Press, November 2022
In the Current Where Drowning Is Beautiful, poetry by Abigail Chabitnoy, is a meditation on water, land, women, and violent environmental changes as they affect both the natural world and human migration. The poet reckons with the unsettling realities that women experience, questioning the cause and effect of events and asking why stories of oppression are so often simply accepted as the only stories. Alutiiq language is used throughout these poems that are in conversation with history, ancestors, and an uncertain future, in imagery that moves in waves, returning again and again to the ocean, and a deep visioning of the “current.” Abigail Chabitnoy is a Koniag descendent and a member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, Alaska. Her first book, How to Dress a Fish, won the Colorado Book Award in the Poetry category and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She is an assistant professor at UMass Amherst.