Things in the literary scene are winding down for the year, and the LR staff is going to be taking some time off from the blog for the holidays starting tomorrow (December 23), and ending on January 8th. It’s been a great last few months, and we’ve been bowled over again and again by your support and enthusiasm as this community has begun to take root. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be taking time to rest, spend time with friends and family, attend to personal matters, and prepare for LR’s next steps in 2010. In light of the fact that we’ll be taking such a long span of time off, we’ve decided that four our events roundup this week, we will cover a longer time period than usual. The Holiday Roundup below covers events happening from December 23rd until January 11th, and, since there are several contests and festivals with deadlines coming up in the next month or so, we’ve also included a list of calls for entries. As always, please let us know of any corrections that need to be made, or if you have an event that you’d like to add. Happy Holidays!
“The Asian American Literary Review is a space for writers who consider the designation ‘Asian American’ a fruitful starting point for artistic vision and community. In showcasing the work of established and emerging writers, the journal aims to incubate dialogues and, just as importantly, open those dialogues to regional, national, and international audiences of all constituencies. We select work that is, as Marianne Moore once put it, ‘an expression of our needs…[and] feeling, modified by the writer’s moral and technical insights.’ AALR features fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, comic art, interviews, and book reviews.
Our first issue, debuting in April 2010, features forum responses by Alexander Chee, David Mura, and Ru Freeman; poetry by Cathy Song, Oliver de la Paz, Paisley Rekdal, April Naoko Heck, Mong-Lan, Eugene Gloria, Nick Carbo, and David Woo; Karen Tei Yamashita interviewed by Kandice Chuh; prose by Ed Lin, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Sonya Chung, Hasanthika Sirisena, David Mura, Gary Pak, and Brian Ascalon Roley; and book reviews by Paul Lai, Timothy Yu, and Jennifer Ann Ho.”
Lawrence speculates that submissions will likely open sometime in late spring or early summer of 2010. In the meantime, please head on over and check out their temporary web site, or leave them some love on Facebook by joining their group.
This week, in addition to readings, open mic’s & performances, we’ve also included a couple of local book sale events. And be sure to check out your local independent bookseller or a university or small press’s online shop this week if you’re looking for holiday gifts; help support the dedicated small businesses that make the publication and promotion of contemporary poetry possible!
We mentioned Sesshu Foster’s award-winning collection World Ball Notebook back in November, when we did a post about the winners of the 2009 Asian American Literary Awards.
Well, it’s recently come to our attention that the magazine/blog Molossus, which bills itself as “an online broadside of world literature,” has posted a lovely conversation with Sesshu and is offering its readers a chance to win a free copy of World Ball Notebook in partnership with City Lights (winner to be announced this Wednesday, Dec. 16th).
We loved what Sesshu had to say about using elements of indigenous heritage as “political and social iconography and ideology” rather than as “ethnography.” Here’s an excerpt:
Our identity as Americans, as citizens of whatever it may be, is collectively bound up in on-going discourse and dialogue about our relations, our culture and history. Times change, and we can’t recycle categorical definitions of ethnic character that are forty years old any more than we can recycle racist assumptions about the self from the 19th century. People do, of course, but writers are supposed to be hipper than that, more up to date.
Cha: An Asian Literary Journal celebrates its second anniversary with a stunning 9th Issue, guest edited by Reid Mitchell (poetry) and Jonathan Mendelsohn (prose). I especially admired the cinematic textures of “Mope,” the second of two poems by Caroline Bird, the earthy resonances of Arlene Kim’s “The Tiger-Brother,” and the deft syntactical footwork of Kate Rogers’ “Sai Ying Pun Sestina.” Also worth checking out is their Lost Teas section, which features reprinted work that has been “lost” due to the folding of its original place of publication.
Kartika Review‘s Issue 6 is also fantastic, featuring poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by a number of rising Asian American artists. One of my own poems was selected for this issue, and I am both thrilled and honored that they’ve chosen to include my work in such an exciting lineup. My personal favorites from Issue 6’s poetry section are Mary Chi-Whi Kim’s “Pyongyang Phantom Feeling, 1952,” for its sharply visceral, arresting imagery, and Lee Minh Sloca’s conversational, but incisive examination of Asian American masculinity in “Just[ice] Please.” Kartika also just announced its Pushcart nominations. In poetry, they selected Kenji Liu’s beautifully spare “Letter to Myself as a Newborn” and Ocean Vuong’s intimate elegy, “Dear Vietnam,” both from Issue 5. Congrats to both poets on this honor!
Many congratulations to both Cha and Kartika on the launch of these new issues. We admire the work that you’re doing, and look forward to reading what’s next!
For your perusal, a list of interesting literary, arts, and cultural events happening in different cities this weekend. (To add to this list, leave a comment below; we will continue to check back and update it during the next few days).