Iep Jaltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter

Iep Jaltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter

by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner


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As the seas rise, the fight intensifies to save the Pacific Ocean’s Marshall Islands from being devoured by the waters around them. At the same time, activists are raising their poetic voices against decades of colonialism, environmental destruction, and social injustice.

Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s writing highlights the traumas of colonialism, racism, forced migration, the legacy of American nuclear testing, and the impending threats of climate change. Bearing witness at the front lines of various activist movements inspires her work and has propelled her poetry onto international stages, where she has performed in front of audiences ranging from elementary school students to more than a hundred world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit.

The poet connects us to Marshallese daily life and tradition, likening her poetry to a basket and its essential materials. Her cultural roots and her family provides the thick fiber, the structure of the basket. Her diasporic upbringing is the material which wraps around the fiber, an essential layer to the structure of her experiences. And her passion for justice and change, the passion which brings her to the front lines of activist movements—is the stitching that binds these two experiences together.

Iep Jaltok will make history as the first published book of poetry written by a Marshallese author, and it ushers in an important new voice for justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816534029
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Series: Sun Tracks Series , #80
Pages: 90
Sales rank: 1,233,704
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner is a Marshallese writer. She is co-founder of the nonprofit organization Jo-Jikum, which empowers youth to work toward solutions on environmental issues threatening their home islands.

Table of Contents

Iep Jaltok

Basket 4

Loktariur 6

Liwatuonmour 8

Lidepdepju 9

Ettolok Ilikin Lometo 10

History Project

Hooked 14

The letter B is for 19

History Project 20

Fishbone Hair 24

Lessons From Hawai'i

Flying to Makiki Street 34

My Rosy Cousin 36

To Laura Ingalls Wilder 37

Bursts of Bianca 39

On the Couch with Bubu Neien 42

Lessons from Hawai'i 45

The Monkey Gate 50

Lost at Sea 53

Crash 54

Last Days in the Bay 56

Tell Them

Spoken Marshallese Lesson Nine 58

Just a Rock 59

Campaigning in Aur 60

Tell Them 64

Lavender Saltwater 68

Dear Matafele Peinam 70

There's a Journalist Here 74

Two Degrees 76

Basket 80

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