Bainbridge Island Notebook

Bainbridge Island Notebook

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Author: Uche Nduka

Publisher: Roof Books (2023)

How do you make a home at the end of the world? Sheltering with his wife and daughter on Washington State's scenic and teeming Bainbridge Island during a global pandemic, the poet as anarchic political surrealist considers problems of isolation, communication, and connection in the most personal terms. Using his unique brand of explosive abstraction, he carves out a space to explore the meaning of dwelling, family, health, love, and diaspora.

Uche Nduka utilizes his experimental style in newly urgent and intimate thematic directions, exploring unfamiliar archipelagos of pleasure and belonging. He evokes the foggy vistas of the Pacific Northwest in a manner one might consider diaristic and nearly confessional, except the poet assures us in an interview: "I don’t keep a journal. I just have various small notebooks where I write down stray lines, observations, ideas. I write in scraps. Scraptures!"

Nduka parses relationships between relatives and strangers, as well as citizens and their environments, challenging: "I don't give a damn / about the conquest / of nature // conquer yourself first / (ain't you nature?)" He transports us to a fantastical headspace where "roots grow brighter" and a poetics unfurls "as naked as / the music we make." Somehow simultaneously laconic and sprawling, reading Bainbridge Island Notebook is an intensely gratifying experience that will take you on a startling adventure, swerving between verse and prose. "The sun loves your rebellion."