Ballad of a Happy Immigrant Book
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RELEASE DATE - 3 JUNE 2021
'It isn't often that one encounters a sensibility so interested in our world - and so compelling in its powers of attentiveness. Leo Boix's poetry has a wide tilt and scope. It sings the doors open' Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic
'They are sailors from another century, stalwart / captured on daguerrotype, casually masculine, tender of heart.'
In the middle of the last century, the SS General Pueyrredón from Buenos Aires deposits Leo Boix's paternal grandfather on English soil for the first time. In the two years he spends there, he acquires a taste for his new homeland: from taking his tea white - muy blanco - to plunging into unfamiliar sensual worlds.
So begins the poet's own journey, arriving in the United Kingdom as a young queer man. Ballad of a Happy Immigrant tells of the life he makes there: a dazzling collection of what it means to live, love and write between two cultures and traditions. Effortlessly moving between the English imagination and Spanish language, it is a boundless exploration of otherness and home, and the personal transformation that follows between 'loss / and a life / that starts anew.'
*A Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice*
"In Ballad of a Happy Immigrant Leo Boix demonstrates the power of a poem to move not just the mind but the body. These are supple, evocative, sensuous poems that ripple with life from a poet who can do in two languages what many of us struggle to do in one"
"Here, dear readers, you will find charms and bees, crows and legends, much silence and even more truth-seeking. You will find immigrant's songs, and love whispers to the planet, all set to music that is as inimitable as it's lush. It isn't often that one encounters a sensibility so interested in our world - and so compelling in its powers of attentiveness. Leo Boix's poetry has a wide tilt and scope. It sings the doors open"
"As well as having a subtle mastery of forms, Boix is playfully inventive -- Rishi Dastidar"
"Boix... has attempted something that few poets dare and even fewer achieve - to write in an adopted language... [he] handles words like a beachcomber, relishing them and experimenting with combinations and visual arrangements"
Angus Reid ― Morning Star