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Words Without Borders: SEED IN SNOW guides readers to 'new vistas'

In a new review from Words Without Borders, reviewer Kate Prengel calls Knuts Skujenieks's Seed in Snow "simple and unique, personal and universal, using generous, open-hearted language to guide the reader to new vistas." Translated from the Latvian by Bitite Vinklers, this bilingual edition is the first US publication of the acclaimed poet.

"Skujenieks makes his own emotions so gigantic that even the trees and the sun itself share them. The pines themselves want to escape, the sun is saddened, and yet, because the landscape shares in the prisoners’ suffering, that suffering is made bearable. . . . Nature, fierce and simple, is always interwoven with emotions in these poems."

Convicted in 1962 of anti-Soviet sentiment, Skujenieks wrote these poems during seven years of imprisonment at a labor camp in Mordovia. Presented bilingually in English and Latvian, this vivid and expressive collection overcomes the physical experience of confinement in order to assert a limitless creative freedom.

"Skujenieks’ strength is his ability to universalize his experience. . . . The poems in Seed in Snow can use this sort of shared experience to transport the reader into a far-off reality most of us will never experience.

"The reader who goes along for this ride will be grateful."

Click here to read the full Words Without Borders review.

Seed in Snow is available now at the BOA Bookstore.

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