Book Review :: Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi
Guest Post by Jami Macarty
Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi is a poetry collection that writes with and is an homage to Portuguese and Portuguese American writers. This poet creates the company and community she seeks, celebrating her Portuguese familial and artistic heritage. Company, community, and celebration are necessary antidotes within the world of the poems which express the unrelenting anxieties of immigrants and that contribute to the immigrant experience as it relates to family, belonging, identity, and home. If in the “old country” life is “joined to water,” in the new country, America, “secrets,” “disguise,” and “anonymity” join a life to being “trapped / inside an identity you did not imagine / you would be” and “[e]xisting in a variety / of lost stages of fitting in and awkward / strength.” These poems of lacunae, of saudade, of “being Memory alone” make every effort to belong to the present while they long for the past, “because that is what grief is, a primary feeling / that must be exposed.” Accardi’s poems, belonging to two worlds, are “a dark mixture of all [she] has lost” and gained through landscape and language.
Through a Grainy Landscape by Millicent Borges Accardi. New Meridian, October 2021.
Jami Macarty is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. Jami’s writing has been honored by financial support from Arizona Commission on the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and by editors at magazines such as The Capilano Review, Concision Poetry Journal, Interim, Redivider, Vallum, and Volt, where Jami’s poems are forthcoming.