by Theresa Muñoz
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 6 mm
Publication: 28 March 2016
A digital native and an actual immigrant, poet Theresa Muñoz has considerable personal experience of two subjects that dominate the present day: migration and technology. Born in Canada, she came to Scotland to work and study. Her journey echoed that of her parents, Filipinos who migrated separately from the Philippines in 1970, meeting in Toronto where they worked hard to build new lives.
The first of these two sequences of poems, “Settle”, reflects her family’s experience of emigration over several generations. Although she writes of racism and homesickness, her journey has been a happy one and she has a positive take on uprooting herself and settling in another country.
The second sequence, “Digital Life”, looks at technology through the eyes of someone who grew up as part of the Facebook generation. Whilst she’s an immigrant in the real world, Muñoz is very much at home online. She finds humour and melancholy in her interactions with Google, Facebook, mobile phones and email, whether it be the frustration felt waiting for someone to text back, the highly stylised way people present themselves on Facebook, or an oddly empathetic relationship with the unvisited twentieth page of a Google search.
“Theresa Muñoz writes with a questioning clarity, a precise observation of the material world undercut by doubts and feelings of impermanence. A sense of movement — whether of migration or language or light — runs through her poems. She has a fresh and engaging take on living in a constantly shifting world.” — James Robertson, poet and novelist
"Theresa Muñoz, born of Filipino parents who had migrated to Canada, and who herself has migrated to Scotland, considers the impact of her background in Settle – a timely subject, given political events across the world in the past year. In the title poem, she deftly illustrates the estrangement of the immigration process. ... [Muñoz] is primarily interested in documenting a certain sweet melancholy in her embrace of life in Scotland, and she is adept at evoking the urban landscape with a minimalist approach to description... [T]his is a promising debut by a heartfelt poet." – Andrew Neilson, Magma 68
“A more upbeat, prosaic voice overall, sometimes with a conversational narrative style, at others a more misty, contemplative way of capturing the unspoken.” – The Skinny magazine
“Theresa Muñoz’s Settle was a collection of two halves: the first exploring her life as an immigrant to Scotland, the second, life as a digital native: a nice contrast.”– Scottish Poetry Library, Books of 2016
“Poetically intense… adventurous in form, wordplay & typography.” DURA (Dundee University Review of the Arts)
“But the best poems explore the idea of belonging. These poems skilfully ruminate on the strength and complexity of the human spirit, no matter where in the world it ends up.” – The List magazine
“Settle is a collection that, by addressing issues of home, expatriation, and public and private identity, fills a significant gap in the contemporary British and global poetry scene.” – Association for Scottish Literature Studies, The Bottle Imp