Ballad of a Happy Immigrant
A dazzling debut collection of migration, home and homeland from an important Latinx voice
'It isn't often that one encounters a sensibility so interested in our world - and so compelling in its powers of attentiveness. Leo Boix's poetry has a wide tilt and scope. It sings the doors open' Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic
'They are sailors from another century, stalwart / captured on daguerrotype, casually masculine, tender of heart.'
In the middle of the last century, the SS General Pueyrredón from Buenos Aires deposits Leo Boix's paternal grandfather on English soil for the first time. In the two years he spends there, he acquires a taste for his new homeland: from taking his tea white - muy blanco - to plunging into unfamiliar sensual worlds.
So begins the poet's own journey, arriving in the United Kingdom as a young queer man. Ballad of a Happy Immigrant tells of the life he makes there: a dazzling collection of what it means to live, love and write between two cultures and traditions. Effortlessly moving between the English imagination and Spanish language, it is a boundless exploration of otherness and home, and the personal transformation that follows between 'loss / and a life / that starts anew.'
*A Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice*
Praise for Ballad of a Happy Immigrant
Here, dear readers, you will find charms and bees, crows and legends, much silence and even more truth-seeking. You will find immigrant's songs, and love whispers to the planet, all set to music that is as inimitable as it's lush. It isn't often that one encounters a sensibility so interested in our world - and so compelling in its powers of attentiveness. Leo Boix's poetry has a wide tilt and scope. It sings the doors openIlya Kaminsky
In Ballad of a Happy Immigrant Leo Boix demonstrates the power of a poem to move not just the mind but the body. These are supple, evocative, sensuous poems that ripple with life from a poet who can do in two languages what many of us struggle to do in oneKayo Chingonyi
As well as having a subtle mastery of forms, Boix is playfully inventiveRishi Dastidar, Guardian
Boix... has attempted something that few poets dare and even fewer achieve - to write in an adopted language... [he] handles words like a beachcomber, relishing them and experimenting with combinations and visual arrangementsAngus Reid, Morning Star