BOOK REVIEW: Surviving Home by Katerina Canyon

Surviving Home: A Collection of Poetry by Katerina Canyon

Surviving Home by Katerina Canyon is to be released in December of 2021, published by Kelsay Books. Surviving Home is a collection of poetry by the civil rights activist. The to-be-released collection of poetry explores the challenging, and often emotionally paralyzing, issues many combat within the African American family, and community. In a vulnerable reflection on heritage and up-bringing, the poet shares some personal notes and memoirs woven through her poetic art. This chapbook is filled with emotion and a range of experiences, from childhood to current events. My favorite poems of this title are “NYP Psychiatry” and “Trifling with Heroin.” The combination of difficult topics like childhood traumas, how we define home, love and family beautifully paired with Caynon’s personal stories makes this a must read. Caynon’s approach to storytelling is simple refreshing and highlights a common thread of healing many readers will appreciate. Each poem of this work truly captivates you with its unique imagery and family references.

Katerina Canyon is also a 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee and 2011-13 Montessi Award recipient. From 2000 to 2003, she also served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. The poet is a journalist and a human rights activist. I give this book a 4 out 5.