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Cover: Seas Move Away by Joanne Leow. Watercolour painting of blue waves that grow darker as you move to the bottom of the page.

seas move away

[Leow's] work pounds away at the façade of Canadian tolerance and diversity. It’s funky with the fermentation of colonial rule, and bitter as a medicinal tonic.

ISBN: 9780888017536
Author: Joanne Leow
$18.00

[Leow's] work pounds away at the façade of Canadian tolerance and diversity. It’s funky with the fermentation of colonial rule, and bitter as a medicinal tonic.

Meditating on exile, loss, diaspora, authoritarian law, and altered ecologies, Joanne Leow’s debut collection spans from the would-be Eden of hyper-planned and surveilled Singapore to an uneasy settling in the Canadian Prairies, seeking answers to the question of what is lost in intensive urban development and the journey across continents. Reflecting on relationships between lovers, parents and children, state and citizen, land and body, seas move away asks what we owe each other across borders and what endures in times of great flux and irreversible ecological change.

Praise

In Seas Move Away, Joanne Leow guides us through the tumultuous present of migrant life, readying us with the necessary allegories to weather the coming storms. Leow gifts us with new maritime languages for diaspora, a counterpoetics for geopolitical and imperial violence, a sedimentary song for life anew.

—Adrian De Leon, barangay: an offshore poem

Collisions, erosions and fractures occur in both external and internal landscapes in Joanne Leow’s Seas Move Away. Lyrical and intimate when addressing lovers and family, Leow’s voice shifts into an incisive investigation of colonial legacies, interrogating and unsettling what is assumed as necessary or wise. Travelling between tropical tidal longings, and the stultifying cold of Saskatchewan winters, the poems in Seas Move Away embody a palette of rich hues and nuanced textures.

—Lydia Kwa, Oracle Bone

This is an oceanic collection. Leow’s lyrics, like sea currents, carve out deep recesses into the mind. Her courageous interrogations of power are scalpel-like, delicately exposing the “what histories are interred” in island, cities, and prairie. Her work pounds away at the façade of Canadian tolerance and diversity. It’s funky with the fermentation of colonial rule, and bitter as a medicinal tonic. Don’t just stand at the edge of this multiplicity—swim in with your strongest strokes.

—Phoebe Wang, Walking Occupations


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