Be swept into The Marrow of Longing
An exploration of Armenian heritage uncovers universal themes of longing and belonging.
The Marrow of Longing, Simon Fraser University professor Celeste Snowber’s deeply personal and interpersonal third book of poetry, traces the inherited trauma of the Armenian genocide, lessons learned in kitchen conversations, fragmented memories of grandparents, parents’ love letters, prayers in the night, and bodily yearnings. “Fragments can hold a world,” she says. A descendent of genocide survivors, she explores relationships between longing, belonging, and identity, uncovering universal themes that guide readers to what has shaped their own lives.
In excavating her own vulnerabilities and longings she invites the reader into a community of reflection. “look beneath the surface / how many dimensions/ one object, one heart holds.”
Motherhood is a recurring theme: “My mother had an / eggplant soul / a beauty of both / dark and light / rough and tender…the meeting of art and life / just beneath the skin of plum black.” Celeste speaks to her ancestral homeland as living entity, “I am letting you / wash over me /kachkar to kachkar, / lavash to lavash…dance my olive skin / on your baptized land.”
Along with 54 poems, The Marrow of Longing contains 7 full-colour images by Boston-based artist Marsha Nouritza Odabashian www.marshaodabashian.com. Odabashian’s drawings and paintings uniquely reflect the tension and expansiveness of being raised in dual cultures, Armenian and American.
The Marrow of Longing is available in print (96 pages) from HARP Publishing: The People’s Press of Nova Scotia (www.harppublishing.ca). Partial proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Atken Armenian Foundation https://www.atkenarmenianfoundation.com/ of Montreal supporting Armenia’s development through cultural and economic development initiatives.
Visit www.celestesnowber.com for information about readings and events connected to the Marrow of Longing or contact Celeste Nazeli Snowber directly at [email protected]