Language as key and map to places, people, and histories lost
For immigrants and migrants, the wounds of colonization, displacement, and exile remain unhealed. Crossing oceans and generations, from her childhood home in Baguio City, the Philippines, to her immigrant home in Virginia, poet Luisa A. Igloria demonstrates how even our most personal and intimate experiences are linked to the larger collective histories that came before.
In this poetry collection, Igloria brings together personal and family histories, ruminates on the waxing and waning of family fortunes, and reminds us how immigration necessitates and compels transformations. Simultaneously at home and displaced in two different worlds, the speaker lives in the past and the present, and the return to her origins is fraught with disappointment, familiarity, and alienation.
Language serves as a key and a map to the places and people that have been lost. This collection folds memories, encounters, portraits, and vignettes, familiar and alien, into both an individual history and a shared collective history—a grandfather’s ghost stubbornly refusing to come in out of the rain, an elderly mother casually dropping YOLO into conversation, and the speaker’s abandonment of her childhood home for a second time.
The poems in this collection spring out of a deep longing for place, for the past, for the selves we used to be before we traveled to where we are now, before we became who we are now. A stunning addition to the work of immigrant and migrant women poets on their diasporas, Maps for Migrants and Ghosts reveals a dream landscape at the edge of this world that is always moving, not moving, changing, and not changing.