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An unflinching, heartbreaking collection of poetry about life in the U.S. as a Brazilian immigrant, Aline Mello’s debut poetry collection, More Salt Than Diamond, is a true testament to the power of finding a home.
Born in Brazil, Aline Mello immigrated to the United States in 1997. Using her experience as an undocumented woman during a time of incredible flux and tension, Mello’s debut collection of poetry, More Salt than Diamond, speaks to her struggles while also addressing the larger cultural issues on an inclusive and global scale.
Lyrical, moving, deeply emotional, and sometimes painful to read, Mello uses exquisitely sharp yet widely accessible language to crack open a life in multitudes. She shines a rare light on what it means to be a Brazilian immigrant in diaspora, stretched thin between borders and fraught family tension yet belonging nowhere. Aline is poised to not only change the face of Latinx poetry in years to come but to redefine the power of undocumented creators and artists.
About the Author
Aline Mello was born in Brazil in 1989 and immigrated to the US with her family in 1997. Her work often centers around themes of identity, religion, the body, family, and the experience of the self living in diaspora. Her immigrant and undocumented identity have influenced her writing and her art. She is an Undocupoet fellow, and her work can be found in journals such as the Georgia Review, Quarterly West,Indiana Review, and The Rumpus. Visit her on twitter at @thealinemello and at www.thealinemello.com.
If there is an American dream, there are also American delusions. Aline Mello shows us how “beyond the wall / there are only more walls.” When pushed against language, law, and country this poet builds a refuge out of prayer, hope, and family. This debut poetry collection is an important contribution to the growing canon of Undocupoets. (Christopher Soto, editor of Nepantla)
In Aline Mello’s More Salt Than Diamond, daughters are made of water, the stars sing, and language returns to the mind, not the tongue. The poet asks, how far is home when it’s a place one can only dream of? In these poems carving space for the country of herself despite the world’s narrow imagining, Mello wonders what will make her beloved here between home and a hard place—grace, God, citizenship, centerfold beauty, unbroken English? No matter. She treasures what others overlook. “Hands filled with seeds and fragile things” are priceless heirlooms. Mello reassembles herself in this deft collection, says “the women who are me do not ask each other questions,” but women dance on the wind of their longing, become otherworldly and love, riddled with loss, still manages enough hope to conjure and tame the distance. (Remica Bingham-Risher)