Review of Swimming Into The Light

Swimming Into The Light

Written with a tough intelligence and a bracing earthiness, Swimming into the Light tells a poignant story that brings together three generations in the land of Souaid's ancestors. 'He's kind of an embodiment of both my future and my past,' Souaid said of her son, Alex, whom she, her husband and her mother travelled to Lebanon to adopt in 1992. The book, which is dedicated to Souaid's son, manages to graft the sensibility of a contemporary North American woman struggling with infertility to a delicate search for distant roots. Many of the poems have the quality of snapshots, capturing the Lebanon of a particular moment, as viewed by an outsider with more than a passing interest in what she sees.

The Montreal Gazette

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Swimming Into The Light

This is important new work which engages themes of fertility and female sexuality with candour and courage. Souaid writes a poetry to savour, as fresh, as unexpected in its textures and tensions as 'the marriage of gin and Juicy Fruit.'

— Mary di Michele

Swimming Into The Light

Swimming into the Light travels from Canada to Lebanon, infertility to adoption, personal aridity to an oasis of plenitude. Souaid celebrates the life force which, one minute, destroys and in another leaves you gasping at its fecundity and embracing a child that 'hung like amber fruit in another woman's womb.' Her concern with roots, with continuity, extends to the social and political spheres as well, where even Beirut, that locus of destruction, begins to re-emerge, phoenix-like, from its ashes. Order, she says, sneaks up on you; and so it does in these fine poems, which are so quietly exact you scarcely notice their artistry until you feel the detonation deep inside.

— Gary Geddes

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