Praise for The River is Rising
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s poetry is heartfelt, wise, and alive… One senses in her that rare combination of someone who has been deeply schooled in both literature and life, and who has integrated those two into a deeply felt and shrewd worldview.
…Wesley writes with clear-eyed lyricism about her ruthless and beleaguered homeland, and the bittersweet relief and loss of the diaspora. Her poems are scintillating and vivid, quickly sketched fables shaped by recollections of childhood playmates, moonlight and ocean surf, hibiscus hedges, and big pots of boiling soup. But these paeans to home blend with percussive visions of falling rockets and murdered children, sharp recollections of hunger and mourning, and a survivor’s careful gratitude in a land of cold winds and rationed sunlight, her carefully measured memories and cherished dreams of return.
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s The River is Rising is both brilliant and heartbreaking. Survivor of the brutal Liberian Civil War, Wesley bears witness to a life she lost to that war, and to what it means to be a refugee who has remade herself…. “To every war,” she says simply, “There are no winners.” …. I am in awe of these beautiful, necessary poems, and the glory and largesse of Wesley’s vision.