Southern Review of Books features Pamela Uschuk’s REFUGEE!

At this pivotal point in history, the word “refugee” holds many different meanings and connotations. As Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine progresses and more than five million Ukrainians flee their homes, anyone paying attention to the media hears the word “refugee.” Naturally, people are inclined to immediately think of the traditional definition of the word — “a person forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.” However, in Pamela Uschuk’s poetry collection Refugee, readers discover refugees of many kinds, not only refugees who fit the traditional definition but also those who redefine what it means to be a refugee. In Uschuk’s collection, refugees from racism seek shelter and justice in volatile environments, both human and animal refugees seek respite from climate change’s irreversible disasters, and those living with incurable diseases find the courage to continue pursuing a life amid the political, cultural, and environmental chaos each new day spent in astute observation of nature offers.