Here are a few exciting tidbits of news from the LR community to round out our last day of posts before hiatus (which takes effect tonight, along with the submissions deadline for Issue 4! Don’t forget to send your work in—the system will be open until 11:59 pm EST).
Videopoem for Kenji C. Liu’s “A Son Writes Back”
LR contributor Kenji C. Liu sent us a link to this awesome video he created for his poem “A Son Writes Back” (the most recent version of which appeared in Issue 2). The video combines an audio performance of Kenji’s poem with musical accompaniment by Jason Jong. According to its caption on Vimeo, the visuals in the piece are footage from “a US Air Force propaganda film portraying aerial attacks on Imperial Japan during World War II.” Watch the embedded version below, or follow the links beneath it to watch on Vimeo.
Not only does Issue 3 contributor W. Todd Kaneko’s work appear in the 10th issue of the Los Angeles Review, but the magazine recently featured his poem “Remembering Minidoka” online as one of the issue’s “highlights”! To read the piece, click here. Many congrats to Todd on this honor.
Bao Phi’s Sông I Sing Reviewed in the New York Times
Issue 3 contributor Melissa R. Sipin was inspired enough by Wendy’s interview with Kimiko Hahn (and by the APR interview that Wendy references) that she wrote a poem in response! She’s shared it on her blog. Thanks, Melissa, for your thoughtful engagement with Kimiko’s words!
Our friends at Sulu DC (whom we profiled in LR Issue 2 and had the privilege of featuring on the blog last year through Simone Jacobson’s “Sulu Spotlight” column) are celebrating their second birthday this Saturday night (Nov 19th) with a special Anniversary and Awards show. The event, which will be held at 6:30 pm at Artisphere in Arlington, VA (at 1101 Wilson Blvd), will be hosted by Regie Cabico and will feature a screening of “Wedding Night” by deaf filmmaker Sabina England, as well as performances by Keva I. Lee, Chip Han, J Pharaoh & the Manhattan Project, and DJ Boo. The following awards will also be presented: Artist of the Year, Community Contribution, Community Partner, and the Sulu DC Audience, Star, and House Awards. Tickets are available online for $20.
Congratulations to Sulu DC on two fabulous years of art, community-building, curation, and performance! If you live in Virginia or the DC Metro area, please do consider helping to support their work by checking out their show.
When the AAWW announced the winners of its 2011 Asian American Literary Awards last month, we were thrilled to hear that Issue 3 contributor Oliver de la Paz’s Requiem for the Orchard had been named 1st finalist in the poetry category (after Kimiko Hahn, who won for Toxic Flora, and before Molly Gaudry, who was named 2nd finalist for We Take Me Apart). But Oliver is not the only one of our friends and contributors who has had exciting news this season. Here some recent publications and releases that have shown up on our radar these past few months:
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Marc Vincenz’s The Propaganda Factory (Argotist EBooks 2011)
Contributor Marc Vincenz’s new e-book The Propaganda Factorywas released by Argotist EBooks this past August. In this short collection (which includes “Taishan Mountain,” a poem that first appeared in LR issue 2), Marc weaves together layers of history and geography through an ever-shifting range of lenses that take us from the level of the microscopic to the realm of the galactic at a moment’s notice. It is available for download here.
Kim Koga’s ligature strain (TinFish Press 2011)
Issue 3 contributor Kim Koga now has a chapbook (ligature strain) out with TinFish. In this linked sequence, which was published as #6 in TinFish’s current retro chap series, Kim floods the page and the mind’s eye with feverish, liquidly intense imagery that involves birth, echolocation, pink and white flesh, and lots of fetal beavers (yes, the actual animal). Be on the lookout for more about ligature strain later this month.
Our friends and contributors have been busy this summer! Here are a few bits of exciting news that have floated our way these past few months:
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Kuwento for Lost Things [ed. Rachelle Cruz and Melissa Sipin]
is accepting submissions
LR Contributors Melissa Sipin (whose work is forthcoming in Issue 3) and Rachelle Cruz (whose work appeared in Issue 1 and who has a postcard poem forthcoming in Issue 3), are co-editing an anthology of phillipine mythology called Kuwento for Lost Things, and are accepting submissions of poetry, prose, and visual art through January 15, 2012. Submissions guidelines are available here. Please help their project get off the ground by liking or following them on Facebook or Twitter, respectively, and by sending some work their way! Visit their web site here: http://kuwentoforlostthings.wordpress.com/
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Angela Veronica Wong wins a Poetry Society of America NY Chapbook Fellowship
Many congratulations to Issue 1 contributor Angela Veronica Wong, whose chapbook Dear Johnny, In Your Last Letter, was selected by Bob Hicok for a 2011 PSA New York Chapbook Fellowship! A short writeup about Veronica and the other Kundiman fellow who won this year (Alison Roh Park) that appeared on Poets & Writers ‘ contest blog last week featured a short video clip of Veronica reading at LR‘s joint AWP reading with Boxcar Poetry Review this past February. (Read the article here).
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Craig Santos Perez’s poetry CD, Undercurrent, now available on iTunes
Here’s an excerpt that showcases the poem’s masterful imagery—which is razor-sharp, tender, and resonant, yet just a touch fleeting and strange:
“Extinction begins as absence, ends gaping
like a surgery, a hole in my chest
marking that mythology we call home.
Mount Rainier does not drift phantomlike
in this poem, but here is that old woman,
crooked under the weight of a century.
She waves off that flock of dark birds
thronging overhead, threatening to pluck
eyes from sockets, tongues from mouths,
until all we can discern is the tide washing
over bare feet, the sound of wings.”
We love this poem (clearly) and are elated to see that others are enjoying it as much as we do. The “As It Ought to Be” editor writes of this poem, “Here’s to W. Todd Kaneko’s muse . . . She is a creature to be awed and honored.” We heartily agree.
We usually don’t post on the weekend, but I’m posting today because we wanted to let you know about an awesome series that LR Contributor and Kartika Review poetry editor Kenji C. Liu is curating this week at The Best American Poetry Blog, in honor of APIA Heritage Month. Kenji has invited me (Iris), along with 3 other editors and self-identified writers of Asian American poetry—Patricia Ikeda, Gerald Maa of AALR, and Barbara Jane Reyes—to contribute posts to the series, and it’s been both an honor and a pleasure to be able to work with him.
Kenji kicked off the series today with this awesome introductory post, in which he discusses both the difficulty and the utility of curating poetry through the lens of the “Asian American” label, and describes his thoughts about the importance of the conversation that will take place throughout the week. (He plans to spotlight the work of several Asian American poets who have come to their vocations through alternative/non-standard/non-MFA routes).
He is clear to note that the purpose of these posts is not to engage in a debate about the worth of the MFA (indeed, he acknowledges that the MFA is a valuable resource), but to “bring . . . greater attention” to APIA poets who have not gone that route, in “recogniz[ing] that a formal graduate education in creative writing often provides resources and networking opportunities that may not be as easily accessible for others.”
I’ll post to the LR blog again when my contribution, which will focus on dual-discipline LR contributors Aryanil Mukherjee (who’s an engineering mathematician) and Kimberly Alidio (whose graduate training is in History) goes live, but in the meantime, we invite you to continue checking back with the Best American Poetry Blog throughout the week to watch our discussion unfold.
Congratulations to Kenji, and many thanks to him for allowing us to be a part of this important conversation.
Our very own Monica Mody (who writes reviews for us) is having a splendid writing year, and we are very excited for her. We recently received word that her chapbook Travel & Risk (Wheelchair Party, 2010) is now available in free e-book form on the publisher’s web site. (It’s also available for purchase in a limited print run for $3, or with all three other Wheelchair Party Press titles for $9—an option which we highly recommend as well, since each Wheelchair Party chapbook is painstakingly hand-bound into a hand-screen-printed cover created by its publisher, CJ Waterman).
Travel & Risk is rubbly on the tongue and lovely in the ear; a long poem that is almost surgically aligned into neat single columns on the page, and yet whose imagery—at times playfully, and at times ominously—shimmers wickedly in the corner of the mind’s eye, slides languidly out of the field of one’s vision, returns winking to adopt its most serious instructive guise, when all the while you know that it is running joyously, inexorably amuck behind the scenes. A read that we highly recommend.
Monica’s work also recently appeared in the Boston Review, and her manuscript Kala Pani was just accepted for publication by 1913 Press, to be released next year.
Our friends at the Asian American Literary Review have recently let us know about their Kickstarter fundraising campaign in support of their 2011 8+1 Symposium. 8+1, which is the sequel to last year’s 8: A Symposium, will take place at the LA Lit Festival on May 7th, and will once again feature another exciting panel of respected Asian American writers. This year’s lineup features:
R. Zamora Linmark
Reese Okyong Kwon
Hiromi Itō and translator Jeffrey Angles
Brian Ascalon Roley
AALR is trying to raise $4000 by April 19th in order to help cover the cost of offering this unique literary experience. As with all Kickstarter projects, the organizers need to be able to raise the full amount in pledges in order to be funded, so we encourage you to consider contributing to 8+1 sooner rather than later. (Not to mention that, if the satisfaction of being a literary patron is not enough, there are some great thank-you rewards being offered to backers at various levels of sponsorship, ranging from event posters to autographed book copies, to AALR subscriptions, professional SAT tutoring, original artwork, documentary film copies, personal editorial consultations—even the chance to attend a private dinner with the Symposium participants).
As we know from putting together even our little off-site AWP reading this winter, literary events (especially those of this scale) are not easily organized, let alone funded. AALR has been doing excellent curative work in its first year or so of existence, and we would love to see them have the opportunity to continue that work through events like 8+1. If you have even a dollar or two to spare, please do consider donating to this very worthwhile cause.
We are a little behind on our news updates, but in case you have not already heard of this amazing project, here’s a little plug for “The 500 Project,” which is being co-sponsored by Bryan Thao Worra and our friends at Kartika Review.
“Can’t we find, among all of those thousands, 10 individuals who are passionate about Asian American literature, writer activists who will express without equivocation that Asian American literature matters?
For each of the 50 states, there must be at least 10 Asian / Pacific Islander Americans that answer yes. And thus Thao Worra, joined by Kartika Review seek out those 500. Why should it be so hard to identify them and build a vibrant, amazing network of readers and writers? How can a canon of contemporary Asian American literature be built if we cannot even find these 500?”
The 500 Project, accordingly, “seeks to profile 10 APIA individuals from each of the 50 States who answer YES.”
To submit your profile, respond to the items in their short questionnaire, and email your answers to 500project [at] kartikareview (dot) com. Include the name of your state, and your own name, in the subject line.
We at LR, of course, heartily encourage you to submit a profile. Take a stand for the importance of APIA lit, and represent your state!
More on the history and inspiration behind The 500 Project can be found here, at Kartika Review‘s web site.