New release: The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in

The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in


ISBN: 9781734496598
Library of Congress Control Number: 2022935361
Artwork: Cynthia T. Buiza
Book Design: C. Sophia Ibardaloza
Paper | 6 x 9 | 152 pages
Publication Date: August 31, 2022
Distributors: Bookshop, Amazon and select bookstores
Price: $20


San Mateo, August 31, 2022 — Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in, a debut poetry collection by immigrant rights advocate and California State Commissioner Cynthia Buiza. 

In The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in,  we encounter stories of confluence and crossings. It is an intimate look at the lives, hopes, dreams and often brutal truths surrounding the immigrant experience. Boris Dralyuk, Editor-In-Chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books, describes the collection as delicate and uncompromising. “Who leaves their [native land] to suffer and sacrifice so much if not to seek a better way of living and being? Poetry is the immigrant experience made visible,” says Buiza in an interview.

The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in is available through, Amazon, and select bookstores. For more information, please email editor [at]


“In her enchanting collection of poems, Cynthia Buiza traces “the shape of memories, / the noise they make,” with a delicate, uncompromising touch. Her calm, melodious lines push open the doors we tell ourselves we cannot open, doors to rooms that hold what we believe we cannot face — “mother, lover, loss.” Distilled from years of longing and griefwork, of solitary walks and communal rituals, Buiza’s wisdom is sweet wine for bitter times.” —Boris Dralyuk, poet, translator and Editor-In-Chief of Los Angeles Review of Books

“Cynthia Buiza’s poetry continues to witness, unceasingly, inviting us to join her in what I call as the last vigil to a passing world, where despite the odds and doubts, she continues to recollect the tracks and thoughts of our fugitive, fragile lives, now enshrined in a foreign tongue she has recoiled and reconciled as her own domicile, a second skin.” —Kristian Sendon Cordero, poet and translator

“What does poetry look like from the notebooks of a life thoughtfully walked?  These pages reflect the maturity of consequence, filled by a migrant advocate, world citizen, and a spirit who has held poetry long enough to understand its torrents.  Poetry, for those who stroll outside its white walls, is a “miracle at dawn.”   And there are many miracles in this debut collection – language as a “dance between mercy and grace” – so much thinking, so much survival, so much courage, from a poet who paves her journey by documenting the everyday vanishings and appearances.” —Bino A. Realuyo, author of The Gods We Worship Live Next Door and co-founder of The Asian American Writers Workshop

“Many worlds collide in the poetry of Cynthia Buiza, but what remains with the reader are the worlds of the new country vis-a-vis the old homeland. Silt and silk, stone and star, a vast country and an archipelago “with too many names for islands.” People suffer and live in her poems; violence and hope commingle here. “She maps this line of desolation from one continent to another…” It is a poetry teeming with images moist and melancholy, “ghosts frozen in the dead eye of memory.” The rough-grained world of the everyday and the slippery world of dreams are present, “surfacing in her dreams/ trailed by a lullaby of crickets nesting… in secret places.” This is an assured debut for a poet whose wise and wonderful voice deserves to be heard, loud and clear.” —Danton Remoto, author of Riverrun, A Novel, Winner of the National Achievement Award for Poetry, Writers’ Union of the Philippines


“Every poem is a short story. I have tried several times to write a review but any words I’d use wouldn’t compare to the images Ms Buiza has already painted. Her voice is so heart felt that to say more would be too much. It is a must read, a mother’s cry, a pacifist’s bellow, a passionate prayer… It’s an angel’s view of a cruel reality. It is so difficult being human today, but with a voice such as Cynthia’s I can feel the action of hope for humanity’s future. Thank you for this book.” —AZ Customer

“Heart-wrenching beyond belief. The Future is a Country I do not Live in is moving, mournful, beautiful. I am not particularly adept at appreciating poetry, but as I read this book, I found my throat repeatedly closing up with emotion. And when I tried to read aloud several of the poems to my daughters, I had to stop midway because we all started weeping so hard. In other words, it’s one powerful book… Brava, Miss Buiza.” —Mary Sheldon


Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC). She earned a Masters in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with a concentration on human security studies. She also holds certificates from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Cynthia currently serves as a California State Commissioner with the Little Hoover Commission and the CA100. This is her first poetry collection.

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