May 19, 2023
‘Āina Hānau / Birth Land by Brandy Nālani McDougall is one of Book Riot’s “10 Essential Poetry Books by AAPI Authors.” Reviewer Connie Pan writes, “I delight in sharing one of my most eagerly awaited poetry titles of 2023. McDougall’s propulsive second collection about Hawai‘i’s culture, Kanaka ‘Ōiwi identity, memory, and parenthood gripped me so.”
‘Āina Hānau / Birth Land is a powerful collection of new poems by Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) poet Brandy Nālani McDougall. ‘Āina hānau—or the land of one’s birth—signifies identity through intimate and familial connections to place and creates a profound bond between the people in a community. McDougall’s poems flow seamlessly between ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i and English, forming rhythms and patterns that impress on the reader a deep understanding of the land. Tracing flows from the mountains to the ocean, from the sky to the earth, and from ancestor to mother to child, these poems are rooted in the rich ancestral and contemporary literature of Hawaiʻi —moʻolelo, moʻokūʻauhau, and mele —honoring Hawaiian ʻāina, culture, language, histories, aesthetics, and futures.