A survivor’s exploration of diaspora, refuge, and power, Inheritance is at times a celebration, at times a lamentation – an examination of ecology, migration, climate and wonder in the human, and more-than-human, historic, present, familial and sacred worlds. Incantatory and elegiac, fable and devotional, these poems are witnesses to displacement and survival.
The finely wrought poems in Nellie Le Beau’s Inheritance are intelligent and striking. The poet’s voice is assured as it reels the reader between past and present, between the uncertainty of memory and the crisp precision of observation. Inheritance is an inventive, wide-ranging and vibrant debut collection animated by Le Beau’s capacity for terse, unequivocal phrasing and compelling imagery.
Nellie Le Beau’s Inheritance is a psychic exploration of the mediation between past, present and future. The imagery deployed is striking and often surprising, teasing the reader with its unexpected angles and irresolutions. Like the very best poetry, it gives its readers scaffolding to think in new ways. While the individual poems play with different speaker positions and poetic registers, one of the great strengths of the collection is the way it hangs together as a reading experience. I left the manuscript feeling refreshed and as if my mind had been taken on an adventure.