Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance


poems by Marion Mutala

Print: 978-1-77133-333-7 – $18.95
ePub: 978-1-77133-334-4 – $8.99
PDF: 978-1-77133-336-8 – $8.99

80 Pages
September 30, 2016

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The rich and varied poems in Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance speak to the heart as they document a woman’s life journey, as a Ukrainian-Canadian, and as a prairie woman, and her voyage of self-discovery. Her story can be anyone’s story. Poems explore issues of immigrant identity and voice in the prairies, and celebrate a cultural heritage expressed through song, dance, art, work and life.

“Marion Mutala writes with tender grace. Her poems are wide-ranging, vivid, real, and intimate. Open this book and prepare to enter the world of a true Ukrainian Daughter, dancing barefoot in the black dirt.”

—Alice Kuipers, author of Life on the Refrigerator Door

“Marion Mutala has a way of forming captivating rhythms of words that dance around in my mind, joyfully creating extraordinary images as I read.”

—Carey Rigby-Wilcox, Award-winning Author and Illustrator



Marion Mutala has a master’s degree in education administration and taught for 30 years. With a mad passion for the arts she loves to write, sing, folkdance, play guitar, garden, travel, and read. She is the author of the bestselling and award-winning children’s book trilogy, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Christmas, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Easter, and Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Wedding. Her fourth book, Grateful was published in 2014 and another children’s book, Kohkom’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian/Aboriginal Legend, is forthcoming in 2016. Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance is her debut poetry collection.


Visiting the old farm house, a flashback-
Tubs of peas shelled during Matinees
Stealing eggs, making soft, squishy mud pies
Eaton’s cut-outs
Flying paper dolls, changing bed sheets
Picking rocks
Swinging water pails
Playing in the old grey caboose
Jumping in bales
Riding pigs
Waiting by the screen door exasperated, I take a chance
Running scared to the outhouse
Tormented by turkeys and chickens
Sleeping three to a bed
Feet hanging through a hole in the ceiling; listening
Thunderstorms, cracks of lightning
Hiding under bedcovers
Waking, eyes glued shut from pink eye

1 review for Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance

  1. inannaadmin

    Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance by Marion Mutala
    reviewed by Candice James
    Canadian Poetry Review – October 10, 2016

    Marion Mutala opens the book with 3 poems that open the door to the Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance: “Memories”, “Washboard”, and “Old Farmhouse” focus a soft lens on her youth and open our hearts and minds to the nostalgia of our own youthful days .

    In the poem “Depression” Mutala compares this intangible disease to a beast stalking her sister:

    “Stalking beast attacks / Wears mask / Camouflage the blues”

    And then ends the poem with what seems like a cure “of sorts” which really isn’t a cure at all.

    “Once a wild caged animal / Medicated / then born again /
    She acts like a simple child”

    “Seductress” brings into focus the perils of falling prey to the liquid flames of alcohol of which fallout can create holocausts, tsunamis, and total destruction of soul of a long period of substance abuse. From opening line:

    “She looks at me with magnetic dark eyes”

    To the ending stanza

    “She falls asleep in my arms /
    My bottle of lust, my sparkling bottle of rum /
    Slowly, one ounce at a time”

    My favourite poem in the book is “Effect”, a nature poem, short, sweet and filled with vivid imagery:

    “Nature encompasses / a sundog / beautifying / the cold sky”

    And what a fitting ending to end the book with the title poem “Ukraininan Daughter’s Dance”. Mutala proudly displays her heritage in these excerpted lines:

    “I am what I am I say”

    “I’ll always be a prairie girl /
    and daughter of a Ukrainian matya”

    “And a Ukrainian Prairie daughter will always /
    dance barefoot in the black dirt

    Dancing through the pages to the magical rhythm Mutala’s poetry exudes is enjoyable indeed.

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