Editors’ Corner: Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2014 (Part 2)

Books We're Looking Forward to in 2014, Part 2

Today, just in time for the start of the year of the lunar new year, we’re finishing off our two-part roundup of books that we’re looking forward to in 2014.  Last week’s post (part 1) focused on recently published titles, while today’s (part 2) focuses on forthcoming books that are due out later this year.

Note: the books discussed below are divided by category according to whether they are currently available for pre-order, or whether specific details of their release have, as of this posting, yet to be announced. For each category, books are listed alphabetically by author.

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Available for Pre-order

Split by Cathy Linh Che (forthcoming from Alice James Books in April 2014)

Split is the latest winner of the Kundiman Prize (the previous years’ awards having gone to Mezzanines by Matthew Olzmann and Pier by Janine Oshiro). Cathy Linh Che is a poet who writes with clarity and shattering vulnerability. I heard her read from portions of Split, which intertwines histories of personal trauma with the inherited trauma of war and displacement, at last year’s AWP, and watched the crowd be visibly moved as she began to cry on the podium. Che said recently, in a feature on the Blood-Jet Radio Hour’s blog: “at a reading, a young woman called me ‘the crying poet.’ She’d witnessed me bawling my eyes out at not one, but two of my own readings. I was a bit embarrassed by the nickname, but now it is a moniker I am proud of! If a book or reading is moving, I tear up. It is how I determine whether or not a work is good. Does it move me? And after I put down the work, does it endure?” I very much respect this: here is a poet who is willing to own the porousness between her work and herself, who is willing to allow herself to be moved by both the process and the “read” experience of her own writing. I can’t wait to read Split. 

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Turn by Wendy Chin-Tanner (forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in March 2014)

This is a special one for us here at LR. Wendy has been our staff interviewer for the past three seasons (she’s the one who’s been responsible for bringing you the insights of everyone from Garrett Hongo to Don Mee Choi), and we are so very ecstatic that she has a book forthcoming! We first got to know Wendy through her sonically rich, smart, politically-attuned poetry—we published a piece of hers in Issue 3 and enjoyed it so much that we made it the “closer” for the main body of the issue. Since joining the blog staff, she’s been a huge asset to the team, contributing colorful and extremely thoughtful interviews each month.  We were thrilled when we learned that Sibling Rivalry had picked up her book, and are very much looking forward to reading it in a couple of months’ time.

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Continue reading “Editors’ Corner: Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2014 (Part 2)”

Digital Broadsides: R.A. Villanueva’s “Vanitas,” Designed by Debbie Yee

Download the "Vanitas" Broadside
"Vanitas" Broadside (Click to visit the download page)

Happy Friday, everyone! As we explained in our update on Monday, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month this year by offering a series of free Digital Broadsides, designed by Asian American designers (many of whom are poets themselves), and featuring poems from past issues of LR. Today’s broadside, which showcases R.A. Villanueva’s “Vanitas” from Issue 4, was designed for us by the talented Debbie Yee, a poet, Kundiman Fellow, and print artist who lives and works in San Francisco.  Debbie’s design for “Vanitas” is available for download in two formats—as an 8.5″ x 11″ printable .pdf, and as a desktop wallpaper (in three different sizes, to fit screens with 4:3, 16:10, and 16:9 aspect ratios, respectively). Click here to visit our new “Digital Broadsides” page, where you can download the broadside in your format of choice.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, Debbie often combines her interests in the visual with her writing and knowledge of bookmaking in order to produce beautiful short-run chapbooks and other pieces of literary art. For her latest project, which is funded by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, she has committed to giving away 100 copies of her own handmade chapbook, Handmade Rabbit Society, in exchange for each recipient’s sharing the name of a self-published or small- or micro- press chapbook that he or she has purchased in the last 18 months. The goal of this exchange project, Debbie writes on her web site, is to turn more “people on to the chapbook format and [introduce] the work of emerging poets and writers.” You can read more about Debbie’s project and find out how to participate on her site, Linocat.

We hope that you’ll take a moment to download, print, and post Debbie’s beautiful interpretation of “Vanitas” somewhere where others can see and encounter it—perhaps a bathroom stall, a classroom, a bulletin board, a door, a refrigerator.  If you post a copy somewhere public or have stories to share about what happens when you do, we’d love to hear about it.  Send us an email (editors [at] lanternreview dot com) with a photo and an explanation, or, if you’re on Facebook, upload a picture of where you hung the broadside, and tag us! (@Lantern Review).  When National Poetry Month is over, if we gather enough stories and photos, we’ll do a little feature post highlighting some of our favorites here.

LR News: Happy National Poetry Month!

PB 1 - Vanni Taing
Pocket Broadside #1 - Vanni Taing

April is National Poetry Month, and as usual, we are celebrating it on the LR Blog with two new special projects.

Digital Broadsides for National Poetry Month

Whereas in the past, we’ve run a prompt contest during April, this year, we’ve decided to do something a little different. Because, in our view, National Poetry Month is as much about encouraging the reading of poetry as it is about encouraging the writing of poetry, we wanted to produce a project that would enable the sharing of  Asian American poetry beyond the confines of our magazine and blog.  To that end, we’re thrilled to be able to announce our very first series of Digital Broadsides.  Every Friday during the month of April, in lieu of  a regular prompt, we’ll be offering a free, downloadable broadside featuring a poem that’s appeared in a past issue of LR.  Each broadside has been designed by a different Asian American artist (most of whom are also poets and LR contributors), and will be offered in two different formats: as a desktop wallpaper, which we hope will inspire you to write each time you open your computer,  and as an 8.5 x 11 printable .PDF, which we hope you’ll print out, post, and share.  You can look out for the first of the series—featuring poet/artist Debbie Yee‘s design for R.A. Villanueva’s poem “Vanitas” (from Issue 4)—this Friday, when we’ll release it on the blog.

Pocket Broadsides on Tumblr

The Pocket Broadsides project (about which I wrote extensively in my AWP reflection post) is now on Tumblr!  Since many of the Pocket Broadsides are miniature poems, we thought that April would be the perfect time to launch an online archive of the project. Starting today, we will be posting images of up to two pieces a week—of both the Pocket Broadsides we brought to AWP (in serial order), and the visitor-written pieces that we received in exchange.  The series kicks off with Pocket Broadside #1, a short poem by LR Issue 1 contributor, Vanni Taing.  At least through the month of April, we’ll be posting notices on the LR blog each time we post a new poem to Tumblr, but to read each Pocket Broadside as soon as it’s released, please add pocketbroadsides.tumblr.com to your list of RSS subscriptions. If you’re on Tumblr yourself, please follow us and re-post!

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That’s all of our special announcements for April.  We hope you’ll join us in helping to spread the word about Asian American poetry this month—both through the Digital Broadsides and by linking to and re-posting the Pocket Broadsides as they appear on Tumblr.

Do you have any special celebrations or project planned for National Poetry Month?  We’d love to hear about them.  Drop us a line in the comments or via e-mail.  If we like your project and you’re documenting it online, we’ll link to it on Facebook or Twitter, and maybe even post about it here!

Process Profile: R.A. Villanueva Discusses “In Memory of Xiong Huang”

R. A. Villanueva

R.A. Villanueva lives in Brooklyn. Recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Indiana Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, DIAGRAM, The Literary Review, and The Collagist. A Kundiman fellow, he is currently a Language Lecturer at New York University.

In our Process Profiles series, young contemporary Asian American poets discuss their craft, focusing on their process for a single poem from inception to publication. Here, R.A. Villanueva discusses his poem “In Memory of Xiong Huang,” which first appeared in the Winter 2009 Issue of Virginia Quarterly Review.

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Ars Poetica with Illuminated Bodies


At the heart of Michael Paterniti’s “The Most Dangerous Beauty” is a description of the Topographische Anatomie des Menschen that is, by turns, lyrical and grotesque. Truth be told, Paterniti’s cluster of renderings and pivots is less a “description” of Eduard Pernkopf’s life work and more a walking tour of his Anschluss abbatoir-made-studio.

Paterniti offers an unfurling litany, a conjuring of Pernkopf’s Anatomy that reckons with how “page by page” these medical illustrations grow increasingly “stunning, bombastic, surreal.” He affirms that it is “bone-and-muscle evidence, the animal reality of who we are beneath the skin” before doubling-back: “what if a number of these paintings have been signed with swastikas, what then?…Do the secrets revealed in the Book count less than the secrets kept by it?”

What starts as an unveiling of an atlas of the body thus becomes for us a visceral interrogation of how we reconcile our ethics with our want to see, our need to know. By essay’s close, beauty is everywhere cut with casualty and grief.

Continue reading “Process Profile: R.A. Villanueva Discusses “In Memory of Xiong Huang””

Event Coverage: Reflections on AWP 2010, Part 1

Morning in Denver from our hotel window

Waking up to bright sun and brisk, springy weather every morning was just one of the many small points of brilliance that characterized AWP for Mia and me this year.  Having just come off winter (we both live in places that are not known for their sunshine during the first few months of the year), it was a treat to look outside our hotel room in the morning and see sun, blue skies, and mountains in the distance.  Denver was beautiful.  Even the snow that had been forecast for Wednesday held off for us.  But not even the gorgeous weather or the lure of spring fever proved powerful enough to distract us from the activity going on inside the harshly-lit interior of the Convention Center this weekend.  When I say that it was a wonderful AWP, I really mean it.  After last year’s conference in Chicago (I met Nick Flynn!  I heard Sun Yung Shin read! Lan Samantha Chang complimented my sweater! Poetry played in the elevators all day!) I was prepared for this year to be pretty darn awesome.  But my experience this year totally blew me away.  Part of it was the fantastic panels and readings that I attended.  Part of it was the excitement of walking around the bookfair and getting to talk about LR and hand out our bookmarks and mini-books. Part of it was the great hotel, great food, and Mia’s great company (I’ll admit that we took at least one night off towards the end of the conference just to spend some catching up and discussing each other’s poems over styrofoam cups of Ramen).  But a large part of what made the experience so great was the amazing generosity of the people that we met there, and the passion with which we heard them speak of their work and their involvement with communities of other writers.

Over the course of the four days, Mia and I went to panels and readings galore and spent lots of time in the bookfair.  In this two-part series, we’ll be reflecting on just a few of our favorite events.  For my post, I’ll be focusing on one off-site reading and three panels/readings that I particularly enjoyed.  For more about our experience, look through our Flickr gallery of photos from the weekend, and check back here at the blog for Mia’s followup later this week.

Follow the jump below to read my reflections on the Kundiman/Cave Canem Joint Reading on Wednesday, Thursday’s Kundiman Panel, Friday’s From the Fishouse reading, and Saturday’s Split This Rock’s panel.

Continue reading “Event Coverage: Reflections on AWP 2010, Part 1”