“This is a compelling book about origins—of ancestry, memory, and language. Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach's gift is to bring the past into relevance; we feel its immediacy, almost urgency. I am struck by both its timeliness and timelessness. This book brings us living history in beautiful, terrible complexity."
~ Ellen Bass
"Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach has written an urgent, rigorous, and fiercely intelligent book of poems, unencumbered by illusion or alibi, suffused with love. Her allegiance to the truth of the past is inseparable from that one inescapable name for the mother: allegiance to the future."
~ Linda Gregerson
"In this stunning debut, we discover our history through names, their origins and our first attempts to name our mother—a history that transforms every time a son calls the world his family. The hurts of the world feel close here, but in this book when everything falls apart, each poem teaches us how to make our love a gentle animal again and call down the light that drowns us."
~ Traci Brimhall
"Book of motherhood, of histories and bloodlines, teaches us how the family, at times, is the only island we might have inside that ugly tempest known as history. The joy in this tempest is the joy of mother seeing her child. For it is a mother who always finds a way out even when there is no way out. Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach does so without false sentimentalism. For in a time like ours, mothers have no time to be sentimental. It is a stunning book."
~ Ilya Kaminsky