Sunday, 17 December 2017

Salvage by Cynthia Dewi Oka

Salvage by Cynthia Dewi Oka
Published in America by TriQuarterly Books today, December 15th 2017.

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

How do we transform the wreckage of our identities? Cynthia Dewi Oka’s evocative collection answers this question by brimming with what we salvage from our most deep-seated battles. Reflecting the many dimensions of the poet’s life, Salvage manifests an intermixture of aesthetic forms that encompasses multiple social, political, and cultural contexts—leading readers to Bali, Indonesia, to the Pacific Northwest, and to South Jersey and Philadelphia.

Throughout it insistently interrogates what it means to reach for our humanity through the guises of nation, race, and gender. Oka’s language transports us through the many bodies of fluid poetics that inhabit our migrating senses and permeate across generations into a personal diaspora. Salvage invites us to be without borders.

I looked forward to exploring this volume of poetry, but unfortunately found it way beyond my comprehension. There are flashes of imagery, some violently graphic, which I understood and I have no doubt that for someone familiar with Indonesia or this style of poetry, Oka's poems could be very powerful. However I found her poetry too disjointed to follow so did not finish the book.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Cynthia Dewi Oka / Poetry / Books from Indonesia


  1. Ah, on my hunt for more poetry I wanted to read this one but I think I won't now that I know how much you disliked this one. I do like my poetry but sometimes it can be too over powering and difficult to find the line of sense in. It sounds like that was the case for this one.

    1. Exactly! I felt I needed to have learned a lot more information before I opened this collection