Author: Kama La Mackerel
Cover by Aun Li and Kai Yun Ching
- Printed in Quebec
- Published in fall 2020
Kama La Mackerel’s debut poetry collection, ZOM-FAM, is kaleidoscopic – literally, it is beautiful in its form and scope.
—Montreal Review of Books
ZOM-FAM is a milestone in Mauritian literature [and] explores what it means to craft life and love in the slippery spaces between diasporic, linguistic, and gender identities. La Mackerel’s poetry draws from an ancestral lineage imbued with both suffering and resilience.
—World Literature Today
ZOM-FAM is not only a description, it is an exclamation, a word that carries ancestral stories but also shows a way forward.
—The Globe and Mail
This is a story about being and becoming, about creating vocabularies for yourself and stepping into them as you would a home. La Mackerel has wrought such a vocabulary for this collection, one that is tender and honest, that defies the boundaries of the English language.
This poetry collection tells a new story of Mauritius’s history, one that includes and celebrates the queer and trans stories that helped shape the island’s history.
Kama La Mackerel’s poetry is a sensuous and fiercely political exploration of gender, familial love, and the intergenerational impacts of colonization. Their multilingual, lyrical poems entrance with hypnotic rhythm and tell a story that spans decades and borders. La Mackerel captures the power of connections maintained in spite of the blunt, relentless pain of distance. Wooing the reader with a carefully orchestrated, gentle lapping of words, they then jolt us with earned, splashy staccatos of euphoria.
—2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize jury (Daniel Allen Cox, Eva Crocker, and Danny Ramadan)