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Iep Jaltok
Iep Jaltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter | Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner
3 posts | 3 read | 3 to read
As the seas rise, the fight intensifies to save the Pacific Oceans 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-Kijiners 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 movementsis 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.
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Redjewel_7734
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Pickpick

These poems were just so beautiful. This collection really captured me. I love how she speaks of her experiences as a Marshallese person. These poems helped me go beyond knowing about the Marshall Islands to feeling the impact of what it is to be from the Marshall Islands dealing with fallout, cancer, climate change, racism, and life. While I can never truly feel that truth, Jetnil-Kijiner has helped me come closer to understanding.

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bookwrm526
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I read this for the #ReadHarder challenge category of a book published before 2019 with fewer than 100 ratings on goodreads. It is a book of poetry by a woman from the Marshall Islands. The environmental activist poetry at the end and the poetry about the history of the islands (especially US nuclear testing) were very powerful.

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EscapedAcademic
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My literary souvenir from my Hawaiian 🌺 vacation: the first book of poems ever published by a Marshallese author. Very cool that a female poet is the first. I meant to take a picture of it with a sandy or lush green background, but it will have to settle for the relative brown of the Midwest. #poetry #postcolonial #postcolonialliterature #femalepoets #neweyes

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