Summer Reads: Jai Arun Ravine & Henry W. Leung’s Top Three

Today’s installment of Summer Reads 2012 is the last of this year’s series, and a bit of a double-header. We have reads from two of our favorite LR Blog staff writers, Jai Arun Ravine and Henry W. Leung.

First, from LR contributor and book reviewer, Jai Arun Ravine:

Rachelle Cruz, Self-Portrait as Rumour and Blood (Dancing Girl Press), because it is about the aswang, a Philippine witch/vampire, and it has a bat/pterodactyl on the cover.

Javier O. Huerta, American Copia: An Immigrant Epic (Arte Publico Press), because it is about going to the grocery store and being checked out–by cashiers, cuties and INS agents.

Sarith Peou, Corpse Watching (Tinfish Press), because it is about being incarcerated and surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide, and for the amazing way it is bound.

And from LR book reviewer and “Panax Ginseng” columnist, Henry Leung:

Paper Shoes – Pavel Šrut
Between Security and Insecurity – Ivan Klima
A Prayer For Katerina Horovitzova – Arnošt Lustig

I’ve been in Prague discovering the work of incredible Czech writers. I got to hear Ema Katrovasread her prodigious translations of Šrut’s poems, which are brief and profound pieces following an everyman figure named Novak; and I got to hear Klima read a very insightful essay from his collection, about consumerism’s impact on religion and spiritualism today. Lustig, I’ve been told, was dedicated to the teaching of writing through fables; he was a Holocaust survivor (one of his titles, Transport From Paradise, is a heartbreaking reference to the way that the concentration camp at Terezín was paradise compared to the others), and an enormously important writer during the Velvet Revolution (along with Klima, Kundera, et al); he just passed away last year.

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For more, read Jai’s “dern, 1” and “dern, 2” in Lantern Review, Issue 1, as well as Henry’s “Question for a Painter.”

To see the rest of this series (and find out what else our contributors have been reading this summer), click here.

What have you been reading this summer? Leave us a comment or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter to let us know.

LR News: Introducing Our 2011-2012 Staff Writers!

Today, the LR Blog is pleased to officially welcome our new team of Staff Writers for the 2011-2012 school year:

  • Interviewer Wendy Chin-Tanner, who is new to our team this year, will be chronicling her conversations with different Asian American poets from month to month.
  • Returning Staff Writer Henry W. Leung will be transitioning out of his previous role as a reviewer, and into a new position as a Columnist.  His new column, “Panax Ginseng,” will explore themes of transnationalism, multi-lingual blending, and hybridity in texts of both poetry and prose.
  • Returning Staff Writer and Columnist Kelsay Myers will continue to reflect on her experiences in the M.F.A. program at Saint Mary’s College of California through her column “Becoming Realer,” and will also occasionally contribute other content (such as interviews).
  • Reviewer Jai Arun Ravine, who is also new to our team this year, will be writing about different, recently-published books, chapbooks, and/or issues of literary journals each month.

We feel privileged to be able to welcome (or, in the case of our returning writers, welcome back) such a strong, cohesive team. We have an exciting lineup of posts planned for this fall, and are confident that you will enjoy the content that Wendy, Henry, Kelsay, and Jai will be contributing to the blog. To read more about each individual Staff Writer, please see their bios on the updated Blog Masthead. You’ll see the first of our staff-written posts for the year (an interview conducted by Wendy Chin-Tanner) appear later this week.

Cheers to the new year, and a warm welcome (once again) to our new team.

Iris & Mia
LR Editorial Staff

Friends & Neighbors: Rounding Out the Summer

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

Kuwento for Lost Things Anthology
KUWENTO FOR LOST THINGS Anthology

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

UNDERCURRENT (Craig Santos Perez & Brandy Nalani McDougall)

Issue 1 contributor Craig Santos Perez and Brandy Nalani McDougall have released a poetry CD called Undercurrent that features audio recordings of both artists reading their own poems.  Craig’s contributions are taken from his two collections, from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008) and [saina] (2010).  Undercurrent is available for download on iTunes, or for purchase through Amazon.  An electronic version of the liner notes can be found on Craig’s blog.

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Jai Arun Ravine’s first book available for order

Jai Arun Ravine's แล้ว AND THEN ENTWINE (Tinfish 2011)
Jai Arun Ravine's แล้ว AND THEN ENTWINE (Tinfish 2011)

Congratulations to Issue 1 contributor Jai Arun Ravine, whose first poetry collection, แล้ว and then entwine has been published by Tinfish! Doveglion has printed Jai’s reflections on the process of writing the book and its guest editor, Craig Santos Perez, has written about editing it on his own blog.  More information about ordering แ ล้ ว and then entwine can be found on Tinfish’s web site.

Continue reading “Friends & Neighbors: Rounding Out the Summer”

Summer Reads: Issue 1 Contributor Jai Arun Ravine

For our Summer Reads series, we’ve asked contributors from Issue 1 to share what they’ve been reading or plan to read this summer.  This installment features reads from Jai Arun Ravine.

In an email, Jai enumerated the following books:

“Found” – Souvankham Thammavongsa
“Small Arguments” – Souvankham Thammavongsa
from unincorporated territory [saina]” – Craig Santos Perez
Lake M” – Brandon Shimoda
Chimney Swift” – Jason Daniel Schwartz

Thank you Jai, for sharing this list with us.  Jai’s poems “dern, 1” and ‘dern, 2” can be found in Issue 1 of Lantern Review.