Impos­si­ble Belonging

  • From the Publisher
December 21, 2022

The 19th recip­i­ent of the Philip Levine Prize for Poet­ry, Maya Pindy­ck­’s Impos­si­ble Belong­ing weaves per­son­al and fam­i­ly his­to­ries with con­tem­po­rary events and pol­i­tics in the U.S. and Israel/​Palestine, ask­ing what it means to belong―to our bod­ies, cul­tures, his­to­ries, and each oth­er. In vivid and lyri­cal lan­guage, Pindy­ck explores how we lay claim to and sur­ren­der iden­ti­ties shaped by his­tor­i­cal trau­ma, dias­po­ra, moth­er­hood, state­hood, and the Anthropocene.

Delv­ing into com­pli­cat­ed rela­tion­ships between Jew­ish­ness and white­ness, the poems reck­on with feel­ings of cul­tur­al belong­ing and visu­al­ize shared hopes and long­ings. In this col­lec­tion, every­thing is inter­re­lat­ed and spir­i­tu­al­ly equal: human, moth, pear, linoleum tile, lan­guage, memory.

At once pro­found, play­ful, and rebel­lious, Impos­si­ble Belong­ing col­laps­es dis­tances between peo­ple, species, times, and places, open­ing up dif­fi­cult ques­tions and fresh, rev­e­la­to­ry connections.

Discussion Questions