Lyz Soto
Lyz Soto

Translate Sun/Son/Sum


This book solidifies Lyz Soto as one of the most profound and innovative poets in the Pacific. She explores the themes of motherhood, geography, cultural heritage, and love using an exciting range of lyric, visual, narrative, and avant-garde styles. Throughout, Soto maps and translates the calculus of genealogy in order to chart a path to that fragile place we call home.

—Craig Santos Perez

This collection is an important body of work. By body I mean just that. Lyz’s poems enable a multitude of skins and identities to dance upon the bones of a mother. The poems in faded print read like prayers by the reader, the quiet questions and hopeful calls of a woman, of a mother. Pressing into the ideas of what makes once exotic that is named exotic? Her poems challenge the space on the page with mathematics and geographic playgrounds, much like how only a child of diaspora can do, challenging the edges and fringes. Questioning the borders. Figuring out the silences. But always mother, “I am still Mommy when no one else is listening”.

–Grace Teuila Taylor

Poet Lyz Soto has more than five senses—her heart seems to have more than four chambers. Her revelations are microcosmic and galactic, utterly human and yet slightly more magic than that. This book is the work of a seer, a champion of reality, pain, love, and beauty, and how they constitute each other. Her poetry shows us how to live truth by feeling and showing all of the ways it speaks us, speaks through us—even through our differences and our distances. Soto reveals both the minute and the galactic. I trust this book, this mind, this imagination, this world she’s made.

–Brenda Shaughnessy

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.
— Carl Sagan