Right from the get-go, Craig Santos Perez lets the reader know that the space they enter is a personal one. Poetry collection [Lukao] (Omnidawn, 2017) is laden with natural beauty, heartfelt stories and sincere love. It also reveals the everyday truth behind the island of Guam and, indeed, the world at large.

Before we even reach the poetry, the collection offers what Perez calls a “poemap,” a picture outlining Guam’s cable network. The small island is crisscrossed with black lines which, according to Perez, “carry almost all transpacific Internet traffic.” Guam is a hub, interconnecting the USA with other continents. It’s a striking image to begin a book of poetry with, not least because of its utilitarianism. Guam is a tool for the United States, the reader sees, introducing the expectation of seeing the life and love breathing between those cables. Or struggling between them. More »