cover of book

Why Can't It Be Tenderness
by Michelle Brittan Rosado
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
Paper: 978-0-299-31994-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3618.O7735W49 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Charting a journey through schoolyards and laundromats, suburban gardens and rice paddies, yoga studios and rural highways, Michelle Brittan Rosado crafts poems that blend elegy and praise. In settings from California to Malaysian Borneo, and the wide Pacific between them, she explores themes of coming-of-age, mixed-race identity, diaspora, and cultural inheritance. With empathy for the generations past, she questions how we might navigate our history to find a way through it, still holding on to the ones we love. Like an ocean wave, these poems recede and return, with gratitude for the quotidian and for beauty found even in fragments.

bring me back

to the in-between

where my breath

has always lived,

without containment,

like two legs pointing

toward the ocean, or these arms

reaching into sky

—excerpt from "Ode to the Double 'L'" Michelle Brittan Rosado. All rights reserved.

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