Only a Season, by Svetlana Litvinchuk-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Only a Season, by Svetlana Litvinchuk

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Svetlana Litvinchuk
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Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Only a Season is a debut chapbook depicting one immigrant farmer’s journey through motherhood artfully strung together in poetic form. As she welcomes her first child and takes on the task of reassessing generational patterns, she explores themes of aging, feminism, and rural living, all while engaging with postpartum grief and joy.

It is one part admiration of nature, one part affirmation of motherhood, and one part a survey of the ancestral roots that make us who we are as seen through a shifting identity. Only a Season is deeply sweet yet sorrowful, aching for answers to universal questions, and is filled with acceptance for change as seen through the lens and language of the natural world. With a glance back down a long line of Slavic farmer ancestors to seek guidance, it becomes a story of breaking through centuries of trauma to finding oneself finally born, in the realization that the next phase of identity demands that she first watches it completely dissolve in the early stages of motherhood.

Filled with vivid imagery, rare vulnerability, and a growing awareness of conflicting cultural values and expectations, one woman evaluates what to pass on and what to bury for good, transforming it all into seeds for the next generation. This collection is an attempt to slow time, pause it, savor it, lament the losses of Self and to softly settle into the gifts that unfold with new life. At once moving and accessible, the poems explore subjects one might explore while repeatedly rocking their baby to sleep.

Svetlana Litvinchuk is a Ukrainian immigrant who spent her early childhood camping on the banks of rivers and communing with rural farmers in Kiev, Ukraine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union she emigrated with a four-generation family unit to Chicago, IL where she adapted to western life until graduating high school. She has since lived in San Francisco, CA; Albuquerque, NM; and now resides with her husband and daughter on their permaculture farm in the Arkansas Ozarks. She holds bachelor’s degrees in international studies and foreign languages and literature from the University of New Mexico. She is passionate about human rights, food sovereignty, and the environment. Her love of the Earth comes from being part of a long line of farmers and hunters, from a childhood spent mostly outdoors, and from Chernobyl turning this world on its axis. She finds inspiration in beating the drum of feminism and the archetypal mother, swimming immersed in the deep waters of ancestral grief, and blinking rapidly in awe at the everyday wonders of our natural world.