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Lineage of Rain

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In this spellbinding debut, Los Angeles–born poet Janel Pineda sings of communal love and the diaspora and dreams for a liberated future. Lineage of Rain traces histories of Salvadoran migration and the US-sponsored civil war to reimagine trauma as a site for transformation and healing. With a scholar’s caliber, Pineda archives family memory, crafting a collection that cen In this spellbinding debut, Los Angeles–born poet Janel Pineda sings of communal love and the diaspora and dreams for a liberated future. Lineage of Rain traces histories of Salvadoran migration and the US-sponsored civil war to reimagine trauma as a site for transformation and healing. With a scholar’s caliber, Pineda archives family memory, crafting a collection that centers intergenerational narratives through poems filled with a yearning to crystallize a new world—one unmarked by patriarchal violence. At their heart, many of these poems are an homage to women: love letters to mothers, sisters, and daughters. Lineage of Rain moves from los campos de El Salvador to the firework-laden streets of South Gate to the riverbanks of England. Pineda’s masterful stroke weaves together these seemingly disparate worlds, illustrating the complicated reality of living as a first-generation student. As the speaker navigates elitism and the violence of the English language, she lays bare their ties to power. And yet, these poems rebel through revel, asking: how do we hold each other tenderly in a world replete with pain and many forms of violence? With dreams made possible through collective struggle, Pineda returns us to the seeds from which we bloom: family, history, and community. All the while, this collection never fails to capture often overlooked moments of joy—the mundane yet monumental—showing the reader that the world we dream is already ours. Through Lineage of Rain, Pineda emerges as a seminal contributor to the canon of Central American diasporic writing.


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In this spellbinding debut, Los Angeles–born poet Janel Pineda sings of communal love and the diaspora and dreams for a liberated future. Lineage of Rain traces histories of Salvadoran migration and the US-sponsored civil war to reimagine trauma as a site for transformation and healing. With a scholar’s caliber, Pineda archives family memory, crafting a collection that cen In this spellbinding debut, Los Angeles–born poet Janel Pineda sings of communal love and the diaspora and dreams for a liberated future. Lineage of Rain traces histories of Salvadoran migration and the US-sponsored civil war to reimagine trauma as a site for transformation and healing. With a scholar’s caliber, Pineda archives family memory, crafting a collection that centers intergenerational narratives through poems filled with a yearning to crystallize a new world—one unmarked by patriarchal violence. At their heart, many of these poems are an homage to women: love letters to mothers, sisters, and daughters. Lineage of Rain moves from los campos de El Salvador to the firework-laden streets of South Gate to the riverbanks of England. Pineda’s masterful stroke weaves together these seemingly disparate worlds, illustrating the complicated reality of living as a first-generation student. As the speaker navigates elitism and the violence of the English language, she lays bare their ties to power. And yet, these poems rebel through revel, asking: how do we hold each other tenderly in a world replete with pain and many forms of violence? With dreams made possible through collective struggle, Pineda returns us to the seeds from which we bloom: family, history, and community. All the while, this collection never fails to capture often overlooked moments of joy—the mundane yet monumental—showing the reader that the world we dream is already ours. Through Lineage of Rain, Pineda emerges as a seminal contributor to the canon of Central American diasporic writing.

37 review for Lineage of Rain

  1. 5 out of 5

    Xochitl

    Pineda's poems are personal and careful images of family and home that leave a lasting impression. My favorite poems were in part II, a section dedicated to her family and the work each parent and sibling did to ensure the poet herself could meet her dreams. As a daughter of immigrants, I know this kind of love well, and it touched my heart to recognize it in another poet and family. Pineda's poems are personal and careful images of family and home that leave a lasting impression. My favorite poems were in part II, a section dedicated to her family and the work each parent and sibling did to ensure the poet herself could meet her dreams. As a daughter of immigrants, I know this kind of love well, and it touched my heart to recognize it in another poet and family.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mela

    "...my grandmother is / still a story teller although I am / not a poet. In this life, I do not have to be. This poem / somehow still exists. It is told // in my mother's voice and she makes hurt dissolve like honey / in hot water, manzanilla / warming the throat. You and I do not find eachother on another continent, grasping...." In another life, perhaps not, but in this one this poet remains a Poet. "...my grandmother is / still a story teller although I am / not a poet. In this life, I do not have to be. This poem / somehow still exists. It is told // in my mother's voice and she makes hurt dissolve like honey / in hot water, manzanilla / warming the throat. You and I do not find eachother on another continent, grasping...." In another life, perhaps not, but in this one this poet remains a Poet.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shayna

    Absolutely fabulous. Each little poem and piece is so emotionally evokative and I had trouble not just reading it all in one sitting. I would usually say that I'm personally not much of a poem reader, but I felt like this work transcends that in being compelling, narrative, accessbile, and offering insights into life. The theme running through about the interplay between language and power particularly made me think. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes beautiful writing and likes to Absolutely fabulous. Each little poem and piece is so emotionally evokative and I had trouble not just reading it all in one sitting. I would usually say that I'm personally not much of a poem reader, but I felt like this work transcends that in being compelling, narrative, accessbile, and offering insights into life. The theme running through about the interplay between language and power particularly made me think. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes beautiful writing and likes to think about society, culture, and/or family.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Brown

    I don’t even know where to start because this poetry tugged at my heart strings. Janel brought the immigration experience alive with her words and prose. Anyone who has had to flee or watch their family leave, could relate so much with every poem. I felt every word, I cried at some, beautiful work. “Oh, hermana I bow to you now as I did then, wreathed by the grace of every goodness you have given.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anders

    This incredible collection of poems left me feeling tender, touched, and seen. Pineda takes the reader on a cathartic journey and each piece is a gift.

  6. 4 out of 5

    novadame

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lorena

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Nakasone

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Rodriguez

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jason Duerr

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Park

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Morgan King

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aricka Foreman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Ko

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine V

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Chavez

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Kane

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Heiss

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kairis

  22. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  25. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

  26. 5 out of 5

    KB_615

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zoha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leticia

  31. 5 out of 5

    Jam

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Garrido

  33. 5 out of 5

    Loca

  34. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  35. 5 out of 5

    Aleks

  36. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

  37. 4 out of 5

    Syann

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