Where does identity live? In nationality or tradition? Language or place? Or perhaps identity is a moving, living thing — the passage of time from the home in which we're born to the home that we create. A grandchild of Hungarian and Dutch immigrants to Canada, and an immigrant herself to Wales and Hungary, in these poems Emily Vanderploeg seeks to make sense of pathways, both inherited and her own.
Loose Jewels explores in lyric form (including especially vivid memories of family) the sort of hybrid national identity, which is so characteristic of contemporary culture. In that process, it uses poetic form very tellingly as it deliberately unsettles its flow of English with references to Magyarul, which enact how language structures our differing apprehensions of the world.
Emily Vanderploeg was born in Canada in 1983. She studied English and Art History at Queen's University (BAH), Creative Writing at Swansea University (MA, PhD), and teaches English and Creative Writing from primary to university level. Her writing has been published in both the UK and Canada, shortlisted for the Arc Poem of the Year Contest for 'Loose Jewels', and longlisted for The Poetry School's 'Primers 4' and the 2018 Women Poets' Prize. Emily is a Hay Festival Writer at Work and 2019 Literature Wales New Writers Bursary Award recipient for her novel-in-progress. Originally from Aurora, Ontario, she lives in Swansea.