Each work in Tomlinson’s Yolanda stands like a bare tree in a devastated landscape, starkly beautiful. At once oral history and found poem, Tomlinson’s document retains the shock and numbness of those who survived while whittling their accounts to profound poems of dignity amid the anguish after disaster.
–Robin Hemley, A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel
In Yolanda, the reader lands in the eye of the storm, then is pulled even closer into the grit, the grief, the very hearts of Super-Typhoon Yolanda’s survivors. In twenty-seven poems fashioned from first person accounts, Tomlinson salvages from the dark wreckage, then polishes to a fierce shine as only a poet can, these narratives of courage, faith, the goodness of strangers, the bonds of family and friendship, and ultimately, the defiant hope of the Filipino people. As William Carlos Williams has said, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack /of what is found there.” Read this book: tread the deep waters, cry out, sing with the voices, grasp a hand, and live.
-Angela Narciso Torres, Blood Orange