Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9780983322092 Published August 2016

The White Islands / Las Islas Blancas

Marjorie Agosín

The White Islands / Las Islas Blancas

Marjorie Agosín

Distributed for Swan Isle Press

Translated by Jacqueline Nanfito with an Afterword by Michal Held-Delaroza

224 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9780983322092 Published August 2016

“I only wanted to write about them, / Narrate their fierce audacity, / Their voyages through the channels of the Mediterranean.” So begins a poetic journey through the islands of the Mediterranean that served as homes and refuge for the Sephardic Jews after the Alhambra Decree, which ordered their expulsion from Spain. Inspired by her own journey to Salonika and the Greek Islands, Rhodes, Crete, as well as the Balkans, Marjorie Agosín searches for the remnants of the Sepharad.

Presented in a beautiful bilingual Spanish-English edition, Agosín’s poems speak to a wandering life of exile on distant shores. We hear the rhythm of the waves and the Ladino-inflected voices of Sephardi women past and present: Paloma, Estrella, and Luna in the fullness of their lives, loves, dreams, and faith. An evocative and sensual voyage to communities mostly lost after the Holocaust, The White Islands offers a lighthouse of remembrance, a lyrical world recovered with language and song, lament and joy, longing and hope.

The White Islands
Oro’s Keys
Only the Sea
Nocturne Falls on the Water
Afterword by Michal Held-Delaroza
Review Quotes
Edward Hirsch, author of Gabriel: A Poem, president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
“Agosín takes up a sacred flame, a solemn trust, in this audacious book of journeys, this dreamy, precise, urgent, and heartrending Jewish testament.”
Ruth Behar, author of Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys
“I’ve read Agosín’s stunningly beautiful poems with tears in my eyes and with awe in my heart. At once a lament about the loss of Sefarad and a celebration of all that lives on in word and song and women's memories, this book is a unique testament to a people, a culture, and a seascape. Marjorie Agosín is the best Jewish Latina poet writing today and these poems are a gift to all readers who are traveling, as she puts it, ‘through ambiguous geographies.’ If you read only one poetry book, read this one, it will make your spirit soar, I promise you.”
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