Award Winning Poet and Best Selling Author Katerina Canyon has announced the upcoming release of her new book Surviving Home, a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse.
Concisely arresting and challenging the beliefs of family and the fantasies of tradition, the poems in Surviving Home show that home is a place that you endure rather than a place where you are nurtured. With unyielding cadence and unparalleled sadness and warmth, Katerina Canyon contemplates the prejudice and limitations buried in a person’s African American heritage: parents that seem to care for you with one hand and slap you with the other, the secret desires to be released from the daily burdens of life, as well as the surprising ways a child chooses to amuse herself. Finding resilience in the unexpected, this collection tears down the delicate facades of family.
Truth is where I found you
In the cusp high over ultraviolet waves
Between your time as a slave and mine
Fighting off the results of bondage.
You were a woman who accepted no
Excuses for the lack of rights
For our mothers and daughters,
Demanded more for those who followed.
I am a woman who accepts that most
White men are fixed on one idea
As to how the world should be,
And it is on me to change their minds
Through words, or actions, but never
Through guns or swords, white bonnet
Wrapped on my head as I push
Away racial insults and profanity.
You never forgot to say who a woman
Could be, what a Black woman could do
When we eschewed weakness and misogyny.
No one helped you. You just carved the trail.
No one helps me either. That’s what I learned
It means to be a Black woman.
To be strong, to plough, to plant, to raise barns.
That’s what you did. I do that metaphorically.
Now, I raise children, plough through journals
With my pen. I always remember to never
Pin my tongue for fear of other’s thoughts
This is the way you walked.
I try to get my half measure full,
But I think it is a little less
Difficult for me as it was
For you. Thank you for the
Quarter you earned.
It took us a long way, but
Today, the world is still
Turned upside down
And we are working
Hand by hand to
Right side up
About the Author:
Katerina Canyon is an Award Winning Poet, Best Selling Author, civil rights activist, essayist, and poet. She grew up in Los Angeles and much of her writing reflects that experience.
Her first book of poetry, Changing the Lines, was released in August 2017. This work is a conversation between mother and daughter as they examine what it means to operate within the world as black women.
Katerina Canyon is a 2020 and 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Folks. Her poetry has been published in CatheXis Northwest, The Esthetic Apostle, Into the Void, Black Napkin, and Waxing & Waning. From 2000 to 2003, she served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. During that time, she started a poetry festival and ran several poetry readings. She has a B.A. in English, International Studies and Creative Writing from Saint Louis University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Katerina moved to Seattle three years ago. She is currently running a civil rights campaign against police brutality. More information can be found at www.vdaycampaign.org.
Katerina’s latest book, Surviving Home, will be released in December 2021 published by Kelsay Books.
To request a review copy of Surviving Home or an interview Katerina Canyon, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com