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Home Water, Home Land is a novel-length prose poem set in the Pacific Northwest, where the narrative crosses borders and waterways to Vancouver Island and explores the interior landscape and transitions a young woman must navigate to break from her family’s patriarchal belief system. The book also questions our ideas of home and loyalty and loss with the backdrop (and foreground) of 9/11, and the environmental protests in Clayoquot Sound in the 1990s. As the narrator dissects the past, she also pieces together a future that includes a new definition of faith, which she now offers to her own daughter.
The Criteria explores unconventional, and at times highly problematic, motherhood. The characters struggle with impossible choices that often lead to heartbreaking behaviors. In the titular story, the main character takes on the burden of breastfeeding infants whose mothers have fallen in while at the same time struggling with the fate of her own infant. Another story imagines a scenario in which the mother/child bond is prohibited, and drastic measures taken to ensure its prevention. The characters are asked to suffer many tragedies, as well as to embrace hope in the most unlikely places.
Katy E. Ellis is the author of the novel-length prose poem Home Water, Home Land and three chapbooks, including Night Watch, winner of the 2017 Floating Bridge Press chapbook competition. Her work has appeared in many literary journals in the US and Canada and she has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Kami Westhoff is an award-winning poet and short story writer. She's the author of story collection The Criteria, and three poetry chapbooks, including Sleepwalker, winner of Minerva Rising's Dare to Be Contest and Your Body a Bullet, co-written with Elizabeth Vignali. Her prose has appeared in various journals including Booth, Carve, Hippocampus, and West Branch. She teaches creative writing at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.