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Winner of the Loose Translation Award.
WHEN MY MOTHER IS MOST BEAUTIFUL is at once a powerful love letter to a mother and to language itself, delving into complex questions of family, communication, culture, and connection. These poems chronicle the difficult art of navigating multiple cultural identities, examining how languages twist and morph across cultures through the imperfect act of translation, how they bind people together and keep them apart, and even how they could be reimagined to make a better world.
“With a poet’s precision and a warrior’s heart, Suzuki weaves a searing story of intergenerational loss and longing through her pages, wielding translation, footnotes, and land-scape to forge beauty out of destruction.” —Kelly McMasters, author of The Leaving Season: A Memoir in Essays
“This book casts its magic through rigorous hybridity of form and genre, inventing itself as the reader plods deeper and deeper into Suzuki’s affective reservoir. This entire book is a marvel, a summoning, a moon song in the night just when I needed it.” —Rajiv Mohabir
“Suzuki mixes prose, poetry, drama, translation, haibun (a form that combines prose and haiku) to create a gorgeous hybrid and multivocal collection where even a footnote can read like flash prose.” —Kimiko Hahn
Rebecca Suzuki is a writer, translator and educator from Nagoya, Japan and Queens, New York. Her writing has appeared in clotheslines, Identity Theory, KBG Bar Lit, Blue Earth Review, among others. She is also a translator from Japanese to English. She earned her MFA in Literary Translation and Creative Writing from Queens College, CUNY and is a lecturer of English there.