Sourcing Siapo

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In Sourcing Siapo, Penina Ava Taesali tells a story about a mother with ten children and a drunk husband, a story that is relentless in its explorations of complications. And what she writes is something beautiful and resonant for its pursuit of all sorts of loves and its refusals of ease. — Juliana Spahr, Author of The Winter the Wolf Came

Sourcing Siapo is a marvel of language. It is as formally innovative as it is wrought with intimacy and human emotions. This is a book of poetry that pulls no punches. I celebrate the publication of this important book for its intellect, realness and above all, necessity. — Truong Tran, Author of Four letter Words

“If violence rules the house/ how does one get out?” How do ten children of Samoan, African, Irish and German heritage survive poverty? Cruel discrimination? The absence of a beloved Samoan father? The violent abuse from an alcoholic stepfather? Using forms both protean and richly inventive, Sourcing Siapo gives us the answer. In this family saga told in many voices, Penina Ava Taesali indelibly conveys to us how she and her siblings found “a way out through each other.” This is the poet’s collective song of transcendence. This book is Taesali’s courageous, moving medicine to “cleanse the blood.” —Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate