"Yu Xiuhua’s Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm, translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain, grows out of highly personal terrain. This farmer-poet says in an essay (Moonlight is sectioned by eight lyrical essays): 'We have man-handled so many words that I only dream of using them anew.' Yu says exactly what she means; and Sze-Lorrain honors the feeling and music in intimate translation. Thus, the poet’s language rises out of the natural, tinged by elemental soil and light."
—Yusef Komunyakaa, author of Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth
“‘Truth once spoken tends to be false,’ writes Yu Xiuhua in her incredible debut of essays and poems. I am smitten with Yu’s powerful writing, erotic poetry, and reflections on disability in daily life. One poem reads, ‘So risky, so heavy / O this love.’ I want nothing but risk in poetry and I feel proud to be a disabled poet in Yu’s company.”
—The Cyborg Jillian Weise, author of Common Cyborg
“I love reading these poems and essays by Yu Xiuhua. I feel befriended by them, by her. Courage, honesty, a love of words, and a wry sense of humor run through the pages of Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm, translated with grace and simplicity by Fiona Sze-Lorrain. When Yu writes in an essay, ‘There is no better ode to life than a weed that grows ruthlessly and arches out of the ground, despite its trauma,’ we know she is telling us her own story. And yet, in a poem called ‘Wheat Has Ripened,’ she says, ‘I am pleased to have landed here / like a sparrow skirting through the sky-blue.’ How can we be anything but grateful to a poet who ends a poem of love lost: ‘I still hope / to err over and over’?”
—Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia
“I couldn’t stop underlining phrases, sentences, whole passages that I wanted to quote, and think about! Yu Xiuhua’s marvelous collection, a hybrid of poetry and poetical essays, each reflecting back on the other, is a transport into the soul, heart, and sensibility of a unique and exquisite mind. Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s translation, generous with silence, space, and pitch-perfect transparency, is a triumph in its own right. This is the sort of book that you’ll want to share immediately with your most thoughtful friend.”
—Minna Zallman Proctor, author of Landslide: True Stories, editor of The Literary Review, and translator of Natalia Ginzburg and Fleur Jaeggy