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.

Summer Reads: Cathy Che’s Top Three

Cathy Che, whose multimedia workshop “Double Exposures: Documenting the War at Home” was featured in Issue 4: Community Voices, brings us today’s list of Summer Reads 2012. She writes:
Paisley Rekdal’s Animal Eye (University of Pittsburgh Press)–I just read a galley copy last week and loved it! I loved the way the poems moved–they never settled for the simple epiphany, but kept working and working, sometimes doubling back and reinventing themselves.

D.A. Powell’s Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf Press)–I’m a native Californian, and I love the way that Powell maps the landscape of Northern California, looking closely at its history of immigration, exploitation, personal histories, etc.

Cathy Park Hong’s Engine Empire (W.W. Norton)–I haven’t read the book yet, but ALL my friends have recommended it to me.
Bonus: Natalie Diaz’s When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press)
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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.

Summer Reads: Monica Mody’s Top Three

Today’s reading list, part of our 2012 Summer Reads series, comes from Issue 4 contributor and former Lbook reviewer Monica Mody. Her recommended reads:

1. Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability. Art: Durgabai Vyam, Subhash Vyam; Story: Srividya Natarajan, S. Anand (Navayana)

Breathtaking reworking of the graphic novel form by the Pardhan Gond artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam, which opens out the story of BR Ambedkar’s life into a multilinear, multi-layered narrative about how caste oppression continues in contemporary India.

2. Speaking of Siva, translated by A.K. Ramanujan (Penguin)

Translations into English of the vacanas, i.e. bhakti poems, of four 10th-12th century Virasaiva saints from Karnataka, along with a wonderful introduction by Ramanujan.

3. India: A Sacred Geography, by Diana L. Eck (Harmony)

Eck meticulously and soulfully persuades that the landscape of India is “living, storied, and intricately connected” through pilgrimage practices.

Also I’ve been keeping track of the books I buy/borrow/receive (and read) as I travel through India this summer—this list might also be interesting to LR readers.

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For more, read Monica’s “Myth of Spirits” in Lantern Review, Issue 4.

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.

Summer Reads: Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé’s Top Three

Today’s installment in our 2012 Summer Reads series comes from Issue 1 contributor Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. He says:
I’m all over the place with this summer’s selections. Hughes gives me a great lens into the lives of Whitman, Capote and Styron, against the gritty backdrop of Brooklyn. Pavel’s lovely memoir, translated from the Czech, is just altogether charming! The third title helps me understand the ruba’i, a two-lined Persian poetic form, with each line split evenly into two hemistitchs. The ruba’i is also known as “taraneh”, meaning “snatch”. This will satisfy my sporadic return to more formalist sensibilities.

 By Evan Hughes, published by Henry Holt and Company

By Ota Pavel, published by Penguin Books

Translated by Peter Avery & John Heath-Stubbs, published by Penguin Classics

Many thanks to Desmond for sharing these titles!

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For more, read Desmond’s “first falling, to get here, ferric by foot” and “: craquelure at the interiors :” in Lantern Review, Issue 1.

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.

Summer Reads: W. Todd Kaneko’s Top Three

Today’s list (the third installment in this year’s Summer Reads series) comes from Issue 2 contributor W. Todd Kaneko. He writes:

here’s a list for you [. . .]

Let Me Clear My Throat by Elena Passarello (Sarabande Books)
Murder Ballads by Jake Adam York (Elixir Press / Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry)
Galerie de Difformite by Gretchen E. Henderson (Lake Forest College Press)

Writers I know, writers I don’t, books that are new, books that are new to me, essay, poem, labyrinth, ventriloquist test, dead people, QR codes, famous screams, history lessons, fake choose your own adventures, pages and pages of bad-assery.

Any reading list that promises “pages and pages of bad-assery” sounds intriguing to us!  Many thanks to Todd for sharing these titles.

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For more, read Todd’s “Northwest Poem” in Lantern Review, Issue 2.

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.

 

Summer Reads: Maria Allocco’s Top Three

This week’s list comes from Issue 1 contributor Maria Allocco, who writes that the three titles she’s most excited about this summer, “in order of digestion,” are:

Shamanism As A Spiritual Practice for Daily Life
By Tom Cowan (Random House)

In my quest to meet my Guides and power animals, I plan on using this as a guide. As I have been in San Francisco now for almost a decade, I may fully initiate myself by buying a bongo.

Beneath The Lion’s Gaze
By Maaza Mengiste (Norton)

Maaza read an excerpt at a VONA reading in Berkeley last week, and I started her book over a badass organic burrito that night.

A Course in Astral Travel and Dreams
By Beelzebub

Lucid dreaming was one of my favorite nighttime activities in college. Now I hope to journey again, sans the 25 page paper interruptions.

Many thanks to Maria for sharing her list with us!

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For more, read Maria’s poem, “Downstairs,” in Lantern Review, Issue 1.

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.

Summer Reads: Kimberly Alidio’s Birthday Reading List

Welcome to the 2012 edition of our Summer Reads blog series, in which past Lantern Review contributors give us a peek at what’s on their reading lists for the current summer season. This year, we decided to change things up a bit: instead of posting longer lists as we have in the past, we’ve asked our contributors to select the top three titles that they’re excited about this season and to write in about them. Throughout July and August, we’ll be sharing the Top Three lists that they’ve sent us on the blog.

This week’s Top Three comes from Issue 2 contributor Kimberly Alidio, who wrote us the following note on her birthday (July 9th):

July 9, 2012

Hello LR!

Thank you again for the invitation to share my summer reading list.

I just finished Scott Morgensen’s Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), which demonstrates that neither scholarly questions nor queer decolonizing politics have to be “special interest” matters but instead good tools for anyone who seeks justice. Generous, thoughtful writing makes all the difference. Reading this helped me finish a research essay just last Friday.

Yesterday, I went to the Lucian Freud retrospective at the Fort Worth Modern and meditated quite a while with the textures of each face and figure. Maybe some ekphrastic poems will arise alongside Sarah Howgate, Lucian Freud Portraits (National Portrait Gallery, 2012). The huge exhibition catalog was a really necessary splurge since no photography was allowed in the huge exhibit, and I’m an obedient museum-goer. Less Instagram posts, more books!

Today is my birthday and my brother got me what I asked for: Cecilia Vicuña’s Saborami (Chainlinks, 2011), a book of daily poetry and object-making in response to military dictatorship first published in 1973 Chile. A good practice for us today.

Til next year — wishing you joy and ease —

Kimberly

Many happy returns, Kimberly! Thanks for sharing your list with us.

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For more, read Kimberly’s poem “translation” in Lantern Review, Issue 2.

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

Summer Reads: Issue 1 Contributor Rachelle Cruz

Welcome to our Summer Reads 2011 blog series!  Throughout the summer, we will be featuring recommended reading lists submitted by Lantern Review contributors who want to share titles they plan to read and want to suggest to the wider LR community.  This week features a set of reads from LR Issue 1 contributor Rachelle Cruz.

She writes:

I am so lucky to host a poetics radio program (The Blood-Jet Writing Hour) because it allows me to invite poets I am curious about and/or admire.  Although I feature poets of many different backgrounds, I seek to support and promote poetries of the Pacific Islands, Asia and their diasporas.  Summer is also the time for me to catch up on some fantastic Young Adult (YA) literature, poetry blogs/websites, and anthologies (hello, Norton!).

Below is just a small selection from my very long Summer 2011 Reading List.

Books:

*FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY [SAINA] by Craig Santos Perez
(Omnidawn, 2010)

Innovative, intertextual poetry that disrupts, navigates and de-navigates the histories of Guam (Guahan). I’ve just finished FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY [HACHA] and I am excited to start Perez’s second book.

 

*BOUGH BREAKS
by Tamiko Beyer
(Meritage Press, 2011)

A fellow Kundiman poet who was also featured in LANTERN REVIEW! Her book seeks to interrogate queer motherhood, gender and the politics of adoption. Tamiko will be on the show with another Kundi, Hossannah Asuncion…

Continue reading “Summer Reads: Issue 1 Contributor Rachelle Cruz”

Summer Reads: Issue 2 Contributors W. Todd Kaneko and JoAnn Balingit

Welcome to our Summer Reads 2011 blog series!  Throughout the months of July and August, we will be featuring recommended reading lists submitted by Lantern Review contributors who want to share books they plan to read this summer and titles they want to suggest to the wider LR community.  This week features a two sets of reads from LR Issue 2 contributors W. Todd Kaneko and JoAnn Balingit.

From Todd:

This is the first summer in a while that I will not be attempting to finish Infinite Jest. I always try but then give up (at about page 200) when the huge time commitment gets in the way of my work. So instead, I just finished How They Were Found by Matt Bell and have started Once the Shore by Paul Yoon. On deck after that are Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, Queen of the Ring by Jeff Leen, and Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting. Also, my partner Caitlin Horrocks has a brand new book out, This is Is Not Your City—I’ve read the stories, but it’s exciting to re-experience them in the book.

My poetry reading list is too long and cluttered to convey in full, but I recently read and was transfixed by Ignatz by Monica Youn and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting by Anna Journey. At the moment, I’m kind of mesmerized with Ardor by Karen An-hwei Lee. Up next are What the Right Hand Knows by Tom Healy, A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood by Allen Braden, Archicembalo by G.C. Waldrep, The Haunted House by Marisa Crawford, Delivered by Sarah Gambito, Spit by Esther Lee, and Before I Came Home Naked by Christina Olson.

I am also planning to play Fallout: New Vegas wherever I can fit it in.

Continue reading “Summer Reads: Issue 2 Contributors W. Todd Kaneko and JoAnn Balingit”

Summer Reads: Michelle Peñaloza, Kenji C. Liu and Gowri Koneswaran

Welcome to our Summer Reads 2011 blog series!  Throughout the months of July and August, we will be featuring recommended reading lists submitted by Lantern Review contributors who want to share books they plan to read this summer and titles they want to suggest to the wider LR community.  This post is a triple feature and includes reads from Issue 2 contributors Michelle Peñaloza, Kenji C. Liu and Gowri Koneswaran.

Michelle writes:

Here’s what I’m hoping to get to this summer:

Atlantis by Mark Doty
The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Natural History: A Selection by Pliny the Elder
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

Continue reading “Summer Reads: Michelle Peñaloza, Kenji C. Liu and Gowri Koneswaran”