Farewell, and Thank You.

Hero image with the LR logo and the words: Thank you for being our community. Beneath the text is a photograph from AWP 16 featuring the LR editors against a background of blue-gridded windows: Iris A. Law (a Chinese American poet with a side-parted ponytail, purple rectangular glasses, and red lipstick. She is wearing a black blazer, white shirt, and heart-shaped pearl necklace and smiling from the left side of the photo) and Mia Ayumi Malhotra (Japanese American poet with a ponytail and bangs, black cat-eye glasses, and silver hoop earrings. She is wearing a purple embroidered top, gray cardigan, and silver Kundiman necklace and smiling from the right side of the photo).
A goodbye, with endless gratitude. (AWP 2016 photo by Elene)

To our beloved community:

Today marks the end of the adventure that has been Lantern Review. Getting to work on the magazine, the blog, our newsletter—all of it has been a shelter and a balm for us. It’s helped to sustain us as editors, as literary professionals, as poets, as teachers, as friends. And as we look back at the work of the last thirteen years, it’s hard not to be proud.

Over the course of our tenure, we’ve produced fifteen issues of the magazine and posted hundreds of interviews, reviews, roundups, and more on our blog. We’ve been honored to publish bedrock figures from the Asian American poetry community, among them Amy Uyematsu, Oliver de la Paz, Jon Pineda, Barbara Jane Reyes, Eileen R. Tabios, Bryan Thao Worra, and several state poets laureate, including Luisa A. Igloria (VA), Lee Herrick (CA), and JoAnn Balingit (DE). 

And we’ve had the privilege of cheering along as some of our earliest contributors’ stars have risen—Ocean Vuong has gone on to win the TS Eliot Prize and the MacArthur; Mai Der Vang’s books have won multiple accolades, including an American Book Award and the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall and First Book Awards. Eugenia Leigh, Rajiv Mohabir, Michelle Peñaloza, Matthew Olzmann, Brynn Saito, Kenji C. Liu, Khaty Xiong, Janine Joseph, Neil Aitken, Sally Wen Mao, Jane Wong, Tarfia Faizullah, W. Todd Kaneko, and so many more have published critically acclaimed first, second, even third collections during LR’s lifespan. We were the first to publish Monica Ong’s visual poetry before her book Silent Anatomies came out. Shelley Wong, whom we first published in Issue 6, went on to be longlisted for the National Book Award this year (for her book As She Appears). We interviewed Chen Chen about his first two chapbooks before his full-length collections came bursting onto the scene with such success—to this day, we meet young, aspiring poets who tell us that his books have changed their lives. 

There have been challenges, of course, and we’ve had to grow—adapting everything from our editorial processes to our magazine’s visual layout. But we’ve shifted and pivoted and scrapped and survived. And we’ve learned so much from all of you along the way. From the persistence that compelled you to keep asking when the magazine would come back during its 2015–2019 publication gap. From the grace and generosity that’s led so many of you to check in with us—What do you need? How can I help? How can we carry your load with you?—when you’ve seen us struggling. From your willingness to (kindly but forthrightly!) keep us accountable for our mistakes. From your openness to our experiments in form, format, and aesthetic. From your unfailing enthusiasm each time we’ve shared something new: “poetry tastings” and stickers at festivals, an installation at a museum, themed issues, a youth folio, poems that did unusual things (scrolled, zoomed, talked).

From you, we’ve learned how resilient the Asian American poetry community is. That it’s deeper and more far-reaching than we could ever have imagined as young MFA students embarking on a mission to find role models and peers. We’re encouraged by the next generation of emerging Asian American poets and what we’re watching them do right now. And we hope that, for every young student out there who feels as isolated as we once did—that the work we’ve done will serve as a testament to the fact that they are not alone, as well as inspiration to forge their own new paths.

Starting today, our website will shift from being an active publication to an archive and resource. Our blog and magazine will continue to remain freely available online for as long as we’re able to support them (hopefully for many years yet), and we’ve forefronted our archives page to make finding a particular poet’s work or a specific issue easier.

In 2009, we set out on a journey to “shed light” on Asian American poetry. And we think, for at least the span of LR’s decade-plus of existence, that we’ve accomplished that goal well. The Asian American poetry scene is thriving today in ways that we never could have envisioned. We are in a golden age where there are lots of us actively creating the work and getting published. Today, young Asian American writers have the privilege to grow up knowing and loving the work of older poets who look like them. Let that sink in: there are Asian American kids reading Franny Choi and Aimee Nezhukhumatathil and Ocean Vuong in high school. That’s something that we could never have dreamed of when we were teens. That’s how far visibility for our community has come. 

We’re confident that the literary community is not just ready for more Asian American voices; we have already arrived, and we’ve no doubt that the road ahead will look very different, in the best way possible. And so, as we step back, we’re eager to see the next generation of Asian American poets and editors step forward to take up the torch. We hope you’ll support them and keep the flame burning. We hope you’ll be a part of our community’s future. Because we know that future will be bright.

Light and peace to you always.

With deepest gratitude,

Iris & Mia

Guest Post | Transfiguration in the Aftermath of Fire: Monica Mody on Identity, Community, and LR

Portrait of Monica Mody, Indian American poet with shoulder-length, wavy, dark hair. She wears a black top and cardigan; a black skirt with an ornate yellow and orange print; large, lacy pendant earrings; and an amber-colored stone on a silver necklace. She is sitting in a leathery blue wingback arm chair and smiling slightly at the camera.
Dr. Monica Mody, former staff writer, Issue 4 contributor, and friend of LR (Photo by Megan Rose)

In yesterday’s post, we featured thirteen short reflections from past contributors and staff who talked about what LR has meant to them over the years. Today, we’re honored to share a longer meditation from former staff writer and Issue 4 contributor Monica Mody.

* * *

When Lantern Review invited me to join their team as a staff critic in 2010, there was so much I was yet to comprehend about the histories and the struggles of Asian America. I had only been in the United States for two years then, spent in the relatively sheltered environment of Notre Dame’s MFA program. Nonetheless, I had already been asked to explain why my English was so good (more than once), and had already costumed myself one Halloween with “oriental spices,” to interpolate a comment made in a class with postcolonial irony. That I would stay in the US for another year, I knew—having received a post-MFA writing fellowship endowed by Nicholas Sparks—but this did not presage a longer future in this country, nor predict how my own sense of self would get mediated by the complexity of identities I would come to hold here.

I remember writing to the LR editors, “I’m interested in the present, and how the present emerges out of pasts as well as a longing for the future.” And: “I’m interested in thinking about my “place”—or “places” or placedness-es—in the subculture of poetry.”

I remember firing a note to them in which I contested standardized spelling and formatting as “an exercise in perpetuating all kinds of hierarchies as well as needless homogeneity.” This mirrors a dissensus I recently had with another editor about reformatting poetic elements based on a style guide—each of us playing out, in a way, the perpetual debate between monists and dualists around form and content (see Natasha Sajé’s Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory). Is form, as the dualists claim, merely decorative? Is it, as the monists believe, inseparable from content? Style and meaning—surface and depth—dancing together, emerging through each other. Not flourish—not adornment—but style as sinew, the monists say—making up the body, making the walk of the body possible. In my foreign/postcolonial/woman’s body, I recognize a deep suspicion of attempts to flatten my strangeness/otherness out of me, even out of kindness. (The kinder attempts are more dangerous for failing to recognize what assimilating would steal away from the Other.) As a poet bringing in risky/weird choppiness transoceanically—first through the poetics of experiment and disturbance, now slanting wyrd in the way of an enchanted cosmology—I get particularly mutinous when faced with protocols to contain or regulate (defuse) my work.

The LR editors attended to my concerns, always, with patience and generosity, holding with care the messy and awkward processes of thinking nearby, of collaboration. They brought in love and meticulousness. They welcomed what did not fit. A couple years later, as something yet unknown and vulnerable was conjuring changes in my writing voice—terrifyingly ragged and unconcealed—they published this new work. Even later, Iris and Mia wished into existence and then built a granular community around literature in the Bay Area, in which I sometimes participated. We read our work to each other. We ate together. The work of writing happened as we made sense of our roots and rhizomatic lineages, physical and imagined translocations. This work is not possible in literary spaces shaped, often invisibly, by euro-white norms of derelationality.

In sum, Lantern Review’s thirteen-year tenure has contributed to creating a nonreductive ethic of Asian American poetry—I would say it has allowed American poetry itself to know itself more expansively, through its elsewheres.

But a brief excursus: for, the ideology of identity—as something fixed, stable, given, impermeable—has come to be at the root of so much conflict, violence. “Identity grows out of our interactions,” Gloria Anzaldúa writes. “We discover, uncover, create our identities as we interrelate with others and our alrededores/surroundings.” I have learnt to recognize myself within the category of “Asian American” in the context of my alien participation in America, becoming acquainted—to some degree—with the fears that characterize relations with the ‘other’ in the US. A fear of the foreign, fear of the other, diminishes the humanity of people of color, immigrant, diasporic, sexually subaltern subjectivities. Even in coalitional work between ourselves or with allies, the monolith fantasy sometimes takes over, any distinctions erased. Perhaps one way to take the power out of these colonizing frameworks is to revision the story of identity, freeing it, as Anzaldúa would say, from the snares of binaries and of “jaulas (cages) that limit the growth of our individual and collective lives.” How do we soften/melt what divides ‘us’ from ‘them’? Could one way be to recover the dimensions of our identity that see us as interconnected—in relationship not only with other humans, but also with other-than-humans—selfhood decentered, writes Suzanne Bost, through “networks of webs”—connected, ultimately, with our cosmic, holographic existence? Would something shift if we see ourselves as nested in a vast eyrie where myriad nonhuman, ancestral eyes gleam, always returning us home?

Perhaps, identity—a parabolic mirror—concentrating sunlight/energy—lights up, sets on fire what it focuses on. There are immense possibilities for transfiguration in the aftermath. Lantern Review, intensifying our focus on/through acts of writing and love, set us on fire, releasing our constituent elements. I am grateful to have been a part of its history. I am so glad LR was here, taking its place in the literary constellation.

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Monica Mody is a transdisciplinary poet, educator and theorist working at the intersections of language, body, and consciousness through a post/decolonial purview. She is the author of KALA PANI (1913 Press) and a forthcoming collection BRIGHT PARALLEL (Copper Coin). Her three chapbooks include ORDINARY ANNALS (above/ground press). Her writing has won awards including the Sparks Prize Fellowship (Notre Dame), the Zora Neale Hurston Award (Naropa), and a Toto Award for Creative Writing. You can find it in journals including Poetry International, Indian Quarterly, Almost Island, Dusie, and The Fabulist; as well as in anthologies including The Penguin Book of Indian Poets and Future Library: Contemporary Indian Writing. Venues that have hosted her readings include Poetry with Prakriti, New Orleans Poetry Festival, Bengaluru Poetry Festival, Trauma and Catharsis Symposium on Performing the Asian Avant-Garde, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, UCSD New Writing Series, Delta Mouth, and Noise Pop. Mody was born in Ranchi, India, and lives in San Francisco (Ramaytush Ohlone territory). Find her at www.drmonicamody.com.


Cover image of COUNT by Valerie Martinez

Count by Valerie Martínez (U of Arizona Press, 2021)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Remembering Thirteen Years of LANTERN REVIEW

Remembering 13 Years of Lantern Review. Black-and-white headshots of Michelle Penaloza, Jane Wong, Kelsay Elizabeth Myers, Luisa A. Igloria, Eugenia Leigh, Wendy Chin-Tanner, Lee Herrick, Cat Wei, Monica Ong, Joan Kwon Glass, Rajiv Mohabir, Karen Zheng, Eddie Kim
Contributors & Staff Reflect on What LANTERN REVIEW Has Meant to Them

As Lantern Review wraps up its final season, we thought we’d take some time to reflect back on the past thirteen years. We asked some of our community to share about what the magazine has meant to them, and we were touched by the overwhelming kindness and generosity of their responses. 

A common thread among our contributors’ and staff members’ remarks was the space Lantern Review has created over the years for Asian American writers.

“I am so grateful to have been a contributor to Lantern Review’s issue on Asian American futures,” said Issue 9.3 contributor Cat Wei. “In the wake of anti-Asian hate, this space created by Lantern Review has been part of the important work of reclamation—of our own stories and pasts and future stories. Thank you for the beautiful vocoder you’ve shared with the world.”

Former staff columnist Kelsay Elizabeth Myers also touched upon the safe space that Lantern Review provided to explore, experiment, and play with the textuality and materiality of one’s identity: 

“For me, Lantern Review meant a refuge: a place where I could be free to speak my mind and shine my own light among others in the Asian American poetry community. LR was one of the first Asian American journals I discovered after my initial experiences with racism in my twenties, and it was the first one dedicated to poetry and craft. It gave me a brave space to form radical ideas about poetry and make sense of my own personal experiences before I knew what a brave space was. And in the LR space, I was given the opportunity to experiment with my own craft ideas between poetry and creative nonfiction, between the whiteness and the Korean aspects of my identity, and between the ideas of identity and selfhood that still influence my life and work to this day.” 

Two-time contributor Rajiv Mohabir discussed the importance of the community that Lantern Review has cultivated, especially with the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the past few years: 

Lantern Review has been an important way that we have been able to see ourselves. There are so few literary journals where Asian American voices can congregate, and LR has been one that has been remarkable and culturally responsive to us in such trying times. I loved reading the poems and reviews of writers who I know and being exposed to those I had not yet encountered. I will forever be grateful to the editors and the community that they cultivated.” 

For some, being part of a community has created lifelong friendships and allowed them to explore new voices within the Asian American poetry world:

“In 2011, I’d just moved back to the US after fifteen years in the UK and ten years out of poetry when I saw that Lantern Review was looking for a staff interviewer,” said former staff writer Wendy Chin-Tanner. “I got the position, and what I thought would be a helpful reintroduction to the APIA poetry landscape quickly became much, much more. Through working with Iris and Mia, and interviewing poets like Patrick Rosal, Lee Herrick, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kimiko Hahn, and Don Mee Choi, to name just a few, I was embraced by a community in which I’ve built lasting, treasured relationships. Thank you, Iris and Mia, for the opportunity and the friendship, and for creating such a beautiful, welcoming space for APIA poetry.” 

Karen Zheng, current staff reader and former intern, made similar remarks. “Lantern Review is a warm and uplifting journal providing a space for the Asian and Asian American community,” she said. “It brought me a sense of belonging amongst other poetry circles. I always recommended people read Lantern Review if they get a chance. Some of the best voices of our time have emerged through Lantern Review.

For Issue 9.1 contributor Joan Kwon Glass, Lantern Review has provided a kind of community she didn’t always have access to. She’s even implemented poems published in our journal as part of her poetry class curriculum. 

Lantern Review has been the kind of beloved community for writers that I dreamt of as a child. Growing up in a Midwestern home as a mixed-race Korean American girl, I lived in between lands. Finding a home for my writing about this specific experience as well as having my book appear on their Asian American poetry blog have been two of my fondest publication memories. LR has also served as a treasure trove of work from which I have pulled to teach poetry classes. I will miss it and always be grateful for guest editor Eugenia Leigh and editor/founder Iris Law.” 

Others wrote about their personal experiences reading each issue that Lantern Review has published. 

“I adore Lantern Review—each issue feels like sitting at the dinner table with so many of my Asian American beloveds,” said two-time contributor Jane Wong. “Thank you for championing emerging writers and for shouting out fresh books! We love you!” 

Issue 6 contributor Lee Herrick also noted what it’s felt like to him after reading each issue. 

Lantern Review has been a source of nourishment, light, and inspiration,” Herrick said. “I felt renewed after each issue, edited with such care, full of such necessary writing. I will miss it, but I am grateful for the ten-plus years of publishing stellar Asian American writing. You helped shape American poetry and countless Asian Americans’ creative lives. Thank you for everything, Lantern Review.

Luisa A. Igloria, whose work has been published in Lantern Review three times, touched upon the myriad of literary and technical representation within the pages of each issue. 

“Since its inception, Lantern Review has been a bright light and booster of new Asian American poetries and hybrid work. Every issue has been such a beautiful and generous curation of some of the most exciting work of Asian American poets writing today. I feel so fortunate to have had my work included in Lantern Review‘s pages; I know I’ll miss it; and I hope Iris and Mia will find ways to continue the important work they’ve done, beyond LR. Thank you!” 

Lastly, several people mentioned the platform Lantern Review has provided for all different types of poetry and the ways in which the journal has impacted them as a writer. 

Issue 9.1 contributor Eddie Kim said, “Lantern Review lives true to its namesake. It gave me a platform through which I could be seen as a poet—something I only truly appreciated when a creative writing teacher told me their students enjoyed my poem ‘In America’ in the (at the time) latest issue of Lantern Review. It was such a nourishing feeling knowing others were reading my work in a classroom (and that they were writing students made it extra special). Even though other people reading your work is the obvious goal when sending out writing, it’s not always clear if it’s actually working (especially if you don’t have a known name). That offering was and is deeply meaningful to me, and I’m grateful to Lantern Review for providing the thoughtful and generous space that made a moment like that happen.” 

Issues 2 and 10 contributor Michelle Peñaloza and Issue 3 contributor Monica Ong both spoke about what it meant to them that Lantern Review was among their first publications. 

Lantern Review was one of my first publications and has always been so special to me as a journal created by and publishing Asian American poets,” said Peñaloza. “I appreciate so much the support, love, and care Iris and Mia have shared and shown in the many beautiful years they published Lantern Review. A memory: those amazing stickers with folks’ last names—Ong & de la Paz & . . . etc. [at the 2019 Asian American Literature Festival]. I loved those!” 

Ong wrote, “Lantern Review was the first literary journal to publish my visual poetry. Prior to that, I’d shared work primarily in the context of art gallery exhibitions. The editorial team was thoughtful about providing a user interface that allowed readers to zoom in, explore, and read the work closely. Most importantly, they were willing to broaden ideas of what a poem could be for its readership. The editors’ openness to hybridity and Asian American voices contributes vital space to an expansive, complex, and innovative generation of writers making exciting work today. Taking those first steps as a budding poet with Lantern Review alongside writers I truly admire has been meaningful, and I’m so grateful for their continued heartfelt care for Asian American literature throughout the years.”

Lantern Review has always sought to uplift new voices and curate themes that encourage writers, and readers, to examine Asian America. 2021 guest editor Eugenia Leigh made note of this while looking back on her own involvement with the journal over the years. 

“When Iris A. Law and Mia Ayumi Malhotra launched Lantern Review in 2010, they created and sustained an incredibly dynamic, necessary, and visionary space for Asian American poetry,” Leigh said. “They published Asian American poets before the mainstream literary world caught on to our power. Lantern Review’s very first issue showcased early poems by poets such as Matthew Olzmann and Ocean Vuong. This was years before Matthew’s first book, Mezzanines, was published. Months before Ocean’s first chapbook, Burnings. Lantern Review published one of my earliest poems as well, in their third issue, three years before my own first book. In 2021, I had the privilege of joining their team as a guest editor to curate three issues highlighting the idea of ‘Asian American Futures.’ This theme challenged us to look deeply at and celebrate the future of Asian Americans through contemporary Asian American poetry, and while I grieve the end of LR’s journey, I am grateful for this call to look forward. What a spectacular future Asian American poetry has thanks, in part, to the work of Iris, Mia, and the LR staff. Lantern Review amplified our voices when so few people and places would. Its contribution to our literary landscape was, without exaggeration, revolutionary.” 

Though Lantern Review is coming to a close, we cannot wait to see what the new year and beyond will bring to the Asian American poetry community. We’re grateful to all those who have submitted, read, and supported Lantern Review throughout the years, and we hope that you’ll always stay hungry for the future of Asian American arts and letters.

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What are some of your favorite memories of Lantern Review? Share them with us in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@lanternreview).


Cover of GOLDEN AX by Rio Cortez

Golden Ax by Rio Cortez (Penguin, 2022)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

An Asian American Poetry Companion: Future Titles to Dream Toward

An Asian American Poetry Companion: 2023 Preview. Details of the covers of BIANCA by Eugenia Leigh, LANDLOCK X by Sarah Audsley, FROM FROM by Monica Youn, WEST by Paisley Rekdal, DECADE OF THE BRAIN by Janine Joseph, FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY: AMOT by Craig Santos Perez, BRIDGE OF KNOTS by CE Shue, SYNTHETIC JUNGLE by MICHAEL CHANG, A BEAUTIFUL DECAY by Karan Madhok, FEAST by Ina Carino, THE KINGDOM OF SURFACES by Sally Wen Mao
Forthcoming Books by Asian American Poets (for 2023 and Beyond)

For the past two years, we’ve been bringing you quarterly book roundups through our Asian American Poetry Companion posts. Today, in the series’ final entry, we thought we’d look beyond the current season to give you a glimpse of the literary riches to come in 2023. Today’s list reaches far and wide, encompassing everything from books that are due out next month to titles that don’t yet have a release month or cover image—and even a handful of internationally published collections that are not yet available in the US (but that we hope might come here soon!). We hope this last companion will serve you well in the new year. Thank you for loving—and sharing your enthusiasm for—this series over the years. It’s been a pleasure to curate each quarter, and we’re excited to end on a celebratory note. Here’s to Asian American poetry and to all the many books that our community will be putting into the world next year—and beyond!


Books are listed first by US release month (if known), and then alphabetically by author. Asterisks denote titles by former Lantern Review contributors and/or staff members. For titles that do not yet have purchase information available online, we’ve linked to the author’s website instead.

Janine Joseph, Decade of the Brain (Alice James, Jan 2023)*

C. E. Shue, Bridge of Knots (Gold Line, Jan 2023)

W. Todd Kaneko, The Dead Wrestler Elegies [New Edition] (New Michigan, Jan/Feb 2023)*

Sarah Audsley, Landlock X (Texas A&M UP, Feb 2023)

Ina Cariño, Feast (Alice James, Mar 2023)*

MICHAEL CHANG, Synthetic Jungle (Curbstone, Mar 2023)*

Eugenia Leigh, Bianca (Four Way, Mar 2023)*

Monica Youn, From From (Graywolf, Mar 2023)

Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory: [åmot] (Omnidawn, Apr 2023)*

Paisley Rekdal, West: A Translation (Copper Canyon, May 2023)

Oliver de la Paz, The Diaspora Sonnets (Liveright, Jul 2023)*

Sally Wen Mao, The Kingdom of Surfaces (Graywolf, Aug 2023)*

Karan Madhok, A Beautiful Decay (Aleph Book Company, released in India in fall 2022—not yet available in the US)*

Shikha Malaviya, In Her Own Voice: Poems of Anandibai Joshee (HarperCollins India, TBA 2023—not yet available in the US)

Monica Mody, Bright Parallel (Copper Coin, TBA 2023—not yet available in the US)*

Preeti Kaur Rajpal, Membery (Tupelo, TBA/late 2023)*

Eileen R. Tabios, Because I Love You, I Became War (Marsh Hawk Press, TBA 2023)*

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What forthcoming books are you excited about reading in the new year? Let us know in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@lanternreview).


Cover image of THEN THE WAR by Carl Phillips

Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007–2020 by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Seven Questions for Contributing Writer Rachel Lu

Photo of Rachel Lu, a Chinese American writer, scholar, and editor with mid-length black hair and bangs. She wears a white t-shirt, blue skirt, and gold necklace and looks into the camera while leaning against a stone wall with folded hands.
Contributing Writer Rachel Lu (Photo by Nancy L. Ford)

We’ve been so lucky to have had Rachel Lu contributing content to the blog this year, and this holiday weekend, we thought we’d take a (long-overdue!) moment to help you get to know her better. Rachel is a recent graduate of Hamilton College, where she received honors in English literature and Chinese language and literature. She is editor-in-chief of COUNTERCLOCK and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read on to learn more about her favorite contemporary titles by Asian American writers, her childhood passion for books and her first novel (written in third grade!), the scholarly interests that capture her attention these days, and more.

* * *

LANTERN REVIEW: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you come to your love for literature and writing?

RACHEL LU: I can’t remember ever not loving reading. Growing up, my dad used to always read stories to me. One of the games we’d play in the car would be reciting first lines from classic literature until one of us gave up. I’m grateful to have been able to grow up in an environment that really promoted literature. I think, over the years, while I’ve continued to love reading, I’ve definitely become more appreciative of literature—of its aesthetic and political powers.

My writing and reading habits have always been intertwined. Since the first grade, I’ve been making up stories in my head, and they manifested into playground stories for my friends or bedtime stories for my sister. I wrote my first “novel” in the third grade—I didn’t have a computer at the time, so my friends helped me type it up, print it, bind it and distribute it. It’s hilarious to look back on, but I remember being so proud that people were reading my work. And I’ve kept writing since then. I think early on, I started writing because I had so many stories in my head that I just wanted to get down, while later, I found writing a fascinating endeavor because it would always articulate to me something that I wouldn’t be able to express otherwise.

These days, I find myself unable to really write creatively anymore. It’s not that I no longer want to write creatively, but as I became more invested in literary criticism and scholarship, I’ve kind of lost access to that creative channel.  

LR: You’re interested in literary scholarship as well as in craft. What topics and themes tend to drive your creative and critical work?

RL: In my critical work, I’m interested in questions of gender, sexuality, power, and identity and in examining the power relations and social and economic mores that construct the individual.

My creative work felt much more internal in that I was always interested in performing a deep dive into a character’s psyche rather than exploring the “outside” world. It’s interesting because it wasn’t that I ever set out to write about a certain topic, but I found myself returning most often to problems of miscommunication and misinterpretation.  

LR: You were recently named editor-in-chief of COUNTERCLOCK, a journal you’ve been involved with for a number of years. Congratulations! Since it came onto the scene in 2017, COUNTERCLOCK has been known for its diverse roster of contributors, as well as for the way it’s sought to provide opportunities for young, emerging writers through its fellowships and more. Can you talk about what it’s been like to be involved in shaping the literary landscape through your work there? As EIC, what’s your vision for where you’d like the magazine to go?

RL: Thank you! As you noted, supporting emerging, especially young, writers was an objective that the former editor, Sarah Feng, prioritized, and something that I hope to continue to carry on. My time at COUNTERCLOCK, from prose reader to managing editor to editor-in-chief, has provided me some insight into the contemporary writing, especially poetry, landscape that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and it’s made me realize how small the poetry world can sometimes be. I think that’s made me more eager to find and platform new voices, whether they’re younger or older writers.

Since we’ve come back from hiatus and have restructured our team, we’ve been trying to slowly retrace our steps. As EIC, I’ve been focusing on getting us back to a triannual publication schedule, bringing back our Emerging Writers Awards, and building our blog, not only with book reviews and author interviews, but also on publishing more “cultural” criticism and miniseries. We’ve published a few miniseries in the past, like “Self-Care in a Global Pandemic” and “Childhood Ruined: Critically Reviewing Childhood Media,” and those tend to be not only my favorite blog articles but also the most popular ones on the blog, so I’d definitely love to do more of those.

LR: What are some of your favorite Asian American writers and books of the moment?

RL: I really love Sianne Ngai’s Our Aesthetic Categories. Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko is one of my all-time favorites. I’m also currently reading Ling Ma’s Bliss Montage, which has been great so far. Someone I really admire is Viet Thanh Nguyen. Both his creative and critical work are incredible. I can’t wrap my head around how he makes the time to do both and to do both really well. His academic book Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America is a book that I think every Asian American interested in the arts landscape should read. He discusses the idealization of Asian America that dissimulates the commodification of our racial identity among other issues. And of course, I love his novels too.  

LR: What’s your go-to karaoke song?

RL: My go-to karaoke song is probably anything from ABBA! I switch up the ABBA song depending on the mood (e.g. “Voulez-Vous” when I’m in a Europop disco mood, “SOS” for nostalgic sad pop).

LR: What’s something you wish you could tell your younger self?

RL: Pay attention in Chinese class! I tried to actively not learn as much Mandarin Chinese as I could for a while and that worked out pretty well. In college, I picked up a second major in Chinese to make up for that time lost, among a couple other reasons, but I’ll always have an accent when I speak. And I’d also tell my younger self that knowing Chinese doesn’t make you any less American. 

LR: What are you hungry for in the future of Asian American arts and letters?

RL: This is a question I’ve been sitting on for a few days now, and I’m not quite sure how to answer it. There’s not one specific thing that I’m hungry for. To me, the question is, what constitutes as Asian American arts and letters? Is it that Asian American individuals created the art, and that makes it Asian American art? Or is it some topic of the art that makes it Asian American art? If it’s the former, it’s difficult for me to say something specifically because there’s not really a specific topic I hope to see written about. I’m interested in anything that’s good art, that can viscerally impact you or stop and make you think for a moment. Those are the moments I crave.

Every so often, I’ll get into a reading slump where I read a series of bad or even mediocre books in a row, and I become convinced that I no longer enjoy reading anymore, that it just doesn’t hit the same as it once did. And then I’ll pick up a book that reminds me exactly why I love reading. I went through that phase recently. Then I read The Sluts by Dennis Cooper, which was absolutely phenomenal and so intelligent in its structural complexity but also so depraved and violent.

It’s pretty inexplicable, isn’t it? That words on a page have so much power to move us. But I’m hungry for more of those moments, where I’m reminded of the transformative, compelling capacity of literature and art in general.


Cover image of IT WAS NEVER GOING TO BE OKAY by Jaye Simpson

It Was Never Going to Be Okay by Jaye Simpson (Nightwood, 2021)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

An Asian American Poetry Companion: Books to Spice Up Your November

An Asian American Poetry Companion: November 2022. Cover images of MUSCLE MEMORY by Jenny Liou; MEET ME AT THE BOTTOM by the Kathleen Hellen; THE WORLD KEEPS ENDING, AND THE WORLD GOES ON by Franny Choi; SUMMONINGS by Raena Shirali, EXTINCTION THEORY by Kien Lam, PINK WAVES by Sawako Nakayasu, INSPECTOR INSPECTOR by Jee Leong Koh, and DIALECT OF DISTANT HARBORS by Dipika Mukherjee
New and Notable Books by Asian American Poets (November 2022)

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and this year, we’re thankful for the wealth of new and forthcoming books coming from the Asian American poetry community. From cage fighting to contemporary dystopia, there’s a book for everyone this Thanksgiving season. 

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Franny Choi, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On (Ecco Books, November 2022)

The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On is the much-anticipated third book from Franny Choi, following the publication of their acclaimed collection Soft Science. LR readers may also remember Choi’s work from her two poems published in Issue 9.1. The World Keeps Ending brings the apocalypse to us—Choi depicts historical and contemporary war, violence, and loss as the dystopia marginalized communities experience, and have experienced, daily. Yet, in the midst of all this brokenness, the publisher remarks that Choi “also imagines what togetherness—between Black and Asian and other marginalized communities, between living organisms, between children of calamity and conquest—could look like.” 

Kathleen Hellen, Meet Me at the Bottom (Main Street Rag, November 2022)

We’re excited for Kathleen Hellen’s fourth book, Meet Me at the Bottom, which Jim Daniels describes as “teem[ing] with rich, layered descriptions that dig down to the heart of injustice.” LR readers have been enjoying Kathleen Hellen’s work since Issue 2, and we look forward to reading her new poetry collection.

Jenny Liou, Muscle Memory (Kaya Press, October 2022)

Eloquent yet striking, Jenny Liou’s Muscle Memory starts with cage fighting and expands into Chinese American history. Examining intergenerational trauma and violence and interrogating the process of healing, Liou’s debut collection expands upon and includes her poem from Lantern Review’s latest issue. Liou’s book, which weaves together the personal and the political, sure succeeds in landing a punch. 


Jee Leong Koh, Inspector Inspector (Carcanet, October 2022)

Kien Lam, Extinction Theory (UGA Press, October 2022)

Dipika Mukherjee, Dialect of Distant Harbors (CavanKerry, October 2022)

Sawako Nakayasu, Pink Waves (Omnidawn, October 2022)

Raena Shirali, summonings (Black Lawrence, October 2022)

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What books will you be looking forward to reading this November? Share your recommendations with us in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@lanternreview).


Cover image of GUILLOTINE by Eduardo C. Corral

Guillotine by Eduardo C. Corral (Graywolf, 2020)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

LR Issue 10 (Asian American Appetites) Has Arrived!

Cover of LANTERN REVIEW Issue 10, October 2022, titled "Asian American Appetites." Beneath the journal's title is a detail from Katherine Akiko Day's painting "Michi." Depicted is a street scene with banners and signs in Japanese lining a narrow, crooked road. The buildings are various shades of warm tan and covered by curved roof tiles. A puddle lies in the middle of the asphalt. The bright-blue sky is veined with criss-crossing electrical wires.
Lantern Review Issue 10: “Asian American Appetites”

Dear LR community,

It’s with great pride (and a twinge of bittersweetness) that we announce the release of our tenth and final issue this morning.

Titled “Asian American Appetites,” Issue 10 features the work of twelve extraordinary poets and visual artists who explore the notion of hunger in all its many manifestations. As we write in our editorial note, the work in this issue powerfully “hunger[s] for worlds beyond, conjuring dreamscapes, the afterlife, memory, and ancestral presence . . . reminding us to honor our appetites and not to forget that it’s our deepest hungers—for justice, for nourishment and renewal—that will guide us in shaping the world that is to come.”

It’s been over twelve years since we published our first issue, and throughout, our own hunger—to explore, to celebrate, and to carve out a space in the literary landscape for Asian American poetry—has continued to be a guiding light. It feels incredibly meaningful to get to end our run with such a strong, thematically resonant finale.

What’s next for LR? Though this is the last issue of the magazine, we’ll still be continuing to celebrate Asian American poetry on the web for a couple more months yet. Through the end of the calendar year, you can look forward to more content celebrating Asian American poets and their work on our blog and social media. And in the meantime, we hope you’ll savor the work in this incredible issue and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear what moves, compels, or inspires you among its pages. Drop us a note in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@LanternReview) to share your thoughts.

Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for all of your support, encouragement, and love for our little online publication over the years. Here’s to the work—and to you!

Peace and light always,

The LR editorial team

Read Lantern Review Issue 10: Asian American Appetites


Cover image of THE HURTING KIND by Ada Limon

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón (Milkweed, 2022)

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

An Asian American Poetry Companion: Cozy Books For Fall (September 2022)

New and Notable Books by Asian American Poets (September 2022)

Every year, it feels like summer is too short. Before we know it, the weather is getting colder and the leaves are starting to change colors. Whether you’ve just gone back to school, just finished celebrating the Midautumn Festival, or are dreaming of pumpkin spice lattes, you can make fall even cozier by exploring these eight new and forthcoming works from the Asian American poetry community. 

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MICHAEL CHANG, Almanac of Useless Talents (Clash, September 2022)

If you enjoyed MICHAEL CHANG’s sensual epistolary poem in Issue 8.2, their forthcoming book, Almanac of Useless Talents, is a must read. Described by Clash as “part confessional, part experimental, and completely original,” CHANG’s decadent poems delve into a world of potent desire. 

Chen Chen, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency (BOA, September 2022)

Chen Chen’s poem “The School of a Few or a Lot of My Favorite Things,” published in Issue 9.1, will also appear in his second poetry collection, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced An Emergency. Tracy K. Smith notes that in the book, Chen writes “with humor, deep intelligence, and what feels to me like a luminous everyday philosophy.” An exploration of life as a queer Asian American in contemporary America, this book is one we are eagerly anticipating, and we hope you are too. 

Jenna Le, Manatee Lagoon (Acre, October 2022)

Issue 7.2 contributor Jenna Le is releasing her third full-length collection, Manatee Lagoon, which explores a Vietnamese cultural heritage in a politically fraught America. Matt W. Miller praises Le’s creative use of form, remarking that “with a lyricism that is sometimes the night-light you want, sometimes the lightning you deserve, Le masterfully weaves poems out of inherited forms and meters that are at once surgically precise and organically necessary.” We hope you’re as excited as we are to pick up this book!


Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Exilée and Temps Morts: Selected Works (UC Press, September 2022)

Wo Chan, Togetherness (Nightboat, September 2022)

Su Cho, The Symmetry of Fish (Penguin Random House, October 2022)

Farnaz Fatemi, Sister Tongue (Kent State U Press, September 2022)

Jenny Xie, The Rupture Tense (Graywolf, September 2022)

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What autumnal reads are making it onto your reading list this season? Share your recommendations with us in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


Cover image of dayliGht by Roya Marsh

dayliGht by Roya Marsh (MCD x FSG Originals, 2020)

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

“Setting the Table With More Possibilities”: A Conversation with E. J. Koh

LR: A Conversation with E. J. Koh. On the left, a photo of the E. J. Koh, Korean American writer with chin-length hair, in profile against a white wall. She is wearing an oversized blue button-down top and red lipstick and looking back over her left shoulder. To the right of the Koh's photo is the cover of her memoir, THE MAGICAL LANGUAGE OF OTHERS, featuring an illustration of a woman with a branch of large white magnolia flowers obscuring her face.
E. J. Koh and the cover of her memoir, THE MAGICAL LANGUAGE OF OTHERS. Author photo by Adam K. Glaser

This summer, I had the privilege of speaking with E. J. Koh about her memoir, The Magical Language of Others, (Tin House, 2020) as well as her background in poetry and translation. Koh is also the author of poetry collection A Lesser Love, (LSU Press, 2017) and the novel The Liberators, forthcoming in 2023. Her poem “Hysteria” appeared in Issue 9.3 of Lantern Review. Read on for her thoughts on the power of language, writing in different modes and genres, setting the table with multifarious possibilities, and more. 

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LANTERN REVIEW: In your memoir, both your college poetry teacher, Joe, and college poetry mentor, Joy, comment on your initial poetry’s lack of “magnanimity.” At the section’s close, you write, “[Joy] encouraged me to look closely, and said poetry would teach me how to pay attention and show me how to care. I must choose love over any other thing. Then, the world would open up for me.” As you’ve continued to grow in your career and craft, even beyond the memoir, have you found this advice—that the practice of caring for one’s craft as a poet is ultimately an exercise in magnanimity—to be true? And is your goal to write one thousand love letters an extension of that same practice of magnanimity? 

E. J. KOH: The lesson came around again for my memoir. I had to reckon with the choices I was making on the page. I could put in a scene to argue for my disappointment, for who I’ve become because of what happened to me, but I replaced it with one that challenges how things could’ve been different from what I assumed to know. During a time it was difficult to love, I’d started writing love letters and hadn’t noticed a connection with my work. I wonder if my everyday life is the actual work, and the rest is an extension of how I am living. But writing the letters has given me other lessons. For one, the word stranger has become stranger to me.

LR: You recently announced that you will be publishing your first novel, The Liberators, in the summer/fall of 2023, which is really exciting news. Originally, you began your writing career as a poet, and you detail that journey in The Magical Language of Others. Has your background in poetry been influential as you’ve begun experimenting with prose? 

EJK: I was watching my old friend walk into my home, and I thought I saw another person they had been and yet another person they would be, all three of them walking together inside. I would read it on a page, and it could be called a device—a thing to be used—and it can be. But it is also life, isn’t it? Writing tries to do what our lives do so effortlessly. The form seems determined by the force.

LR: Language, obviously, is a central focus in the book. It’s something you study and learn and then pull apart to reveal the intergenerational language used for trauma but also the healing in the language of love. And then, of course, the memoir itself is called The Magical Language of Others. In the book, you observe that “[l]anguages, as they open you, can also allow you to close.” How have you noticed language structuring, opening or closing, your relationships with others or with yourself? 

EJK: I was meditating every morning and evening. Some days for five hours. Like it was with languages, I was using meditation to close. I realized I was not waging peace but war. Isn’t it another thing to go outside—to go into those uncertain situations and places? So I try to use meditation, as with my language, to remain open. I welcome my fears because they work diligently to unravel me. I want to look at the things I’m scared of seeing. I want to hear my heart go pitter-patter.

LR: Your graduate workshop professor once said, “If you want to be a good poet, then write poetry. If you want to be a great poet, then translate.” You do a lot of translation work and released last year a cotranslation of Yi Won’s The World’s Lightest Motorcycle with Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bella. How was the process of translating the book as well as translating with a collaborator versus working by yourself? How has translation work in general strengthened your personal poetic practice?

EJK: With Marci, we are part of a sisterhood with Don Mee Choi, Emily Jungmin Yoon, Stine An, and more—along with our poet sisters in South Korea like Kim Hyesoon and Yi Won. So when I’m translating on my own, no matter how I may feel day to day, I cannot ever be alone. And when I meet a translator, I love them right away. A translator knows you so intimately. They can see into your heart. They know how to love you. As a translator, you have to do that with languages. Languages are thorny things, and the way they treat each other sometimes is awful, but there you are, as you were the day before, trying your best.

LR: The first chapter of the memoir, which opens with a letter from your mother, ends with an exhortation to be happy. This command, woven through many of the letters, sometimes reads like a responsibility or a burden. I ask too because I remember my father, when he wrote me letters while I was in college, also encouraging me to be happy, and I recall being perplexed. Happiness was never a present condition I actively sought out or remember being encouraged to be, the latter of which I feel like is a particularly Asian dilemma. Happiness is a prospect to be attained in the future by working hard rather than being happy now. This encouragement to be happy might feel particularly ironic for Asian American children pursuing vocations in the arts and letters (given many parents’ traditional attitudes towards these careers). Do you have any advice for young Asian American artists who may be grappling with parents’ sometimes contradictory expectations? 

EJK: Let’s set the table with more possibilities: They ask me to be happy, so I don’t want to be happy, not because it’s what I want but because I know it’s what they want, and I want what they don’t want, or, I can be happy only if things or people are different from what and who they are, and until then, I don’t want to consider being happy, or, I know I can be happy because I understand what it looks like when I’m not but it means they are right and I can’t be happy and wrong, or, I would rather be against someone who is outside the power of my happiness because it helps me separate myself, or, I want them to know they cannot make me happy, though it may be true I’ve given them power over me, or, when I focus on words like happiness and family, I can pick apart their meanings and put myself into them to see what I can or cannot fit, then decide from that, and so on, with new combinations and other possibilities. Nothing is wrong, these things are on the table, and looking at each one, and each one together, you can go beyond them. In the end, what others say for themselves or for you is outside of how you choose your relationship to yourself and the world. The outside can be a warden for the inside, and everything can crumble and [can] do so easily. But if you can go inside of yourself, the outside will catch up. Tell your heart to open and let go.

LR: For your PhD in English literature, you are specializing in Han studies and trauma. What, specifically, are you researching? Do you find that your academic research overlaps with your creative work? Where do you see the similarities between scholarship and creative work in your own personal experience? 

EJK: If you look up my poem “American Han” in Poetry magazine, you’ve read my dissertation. My advisor said this and we both laughed. I’m fifty pages into my dissertation, but it’s as if “American Han” didn’t end. I set the table—you can set anything on the table, but nothing can be taken off. So someone says to me, “You’re not Korean, you can’t feel han,” and for some reason, it excites me. I say then, “Please tell me more. Tell me about yourself. Tell me what han means to you.” They say, “There is original han. Original han is for original Koreans who live in Korea.” And I say, “I am listening because I know we can feel better about han together. Will you listen?” There is great darkness with han, yes, but there is also great relief. My research, like my work, means I don’t look away.

LR: Lantern Review’s theme for the season is Asian American Appetites. What’s something that you’re hungry for in the future of Asian American letters? 

EJK: [When I am] judging [contests], and I try not to unless I would be especially helpful because it’s another one of those tricky things, but I often read something right out of a pile and get stopped in the middle of it. I’ve read remarkable things by upcoming writers. Things so remarkable I sit up straight and say, “If only the world knew what incredible writers are coming for them. The years and lives it took for these writers to reach us. What things are being written and spoken so that our thoughts and feelings are no longer just our own, and we can be united again in our humanity.” That goes for fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, plays, graphic novels, translations, poems, scripts, young adult, letters, and more. I’m hungry for it all.

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E. J. Koh is the author of the memoir The Magical Language of Others (Tin House Books, 2020), Washington State Book Award winner, Pacific Northwest Book Award winner, Association of Asian American Studies Book Award winner, and PEN Open Book Award longlist. Koh is the author of the poetry collection A Lesser Love (Louisiana State U Press, 2017). Her debut novel, The Liberators, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in 2023.


Cover of THROWN IN THE THROAT by Benjamin Garcia

Thrown in the Throat by Benjamin Garcia (Milkweed Editions, 2020)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.

An Asian American Poetry Companion: Sizzling Reads For Summer (July 2022)

An Asian American Poetry Companion: July 2022. Cover images of LIGHT WAVES by Kirsten Shu-ying Chen, MOUTH SUGAR & SMOKE by Eric Tran, SEPARATION ANXIETY by Janice Lee, AND THOSE ASHEN HEAPS THAT CANTILEVERED VASE OF MOONLIGHT by Lynn Xu, O by Zeina Hashem Beck, THEY RISE LIKE A WAVE edited by Christine Kitano and Alycia Pirmohamed, IN THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY by Jane Kuo, THE LONELIEST WHALE BLUES by Sharon Suzuki-Martinez, TWO BROWN DOTS by Danni Quintos, and THE WET HEX by Sun Young Shin
New and Notable Books by Asian American Poets for July 2022

Summer just got even hotter with some exciting new works from Asian American poets. From a moving debut by a Lantern Review contributor to a middle-grade novel-in-verse, explore ten new and forthcoming works from the Asian American poetry community with us.

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Kirsten Shu-ying Chen, light waves (Terrapin, May 2022)

If you enjoyed Kirsten Shu-ying Chen’s otherworldly portrait of her mother “Life on Mars” in Issue 9.1, get ready for her debut collection, light waves, which expands upon the world of the poem. As Omotara James writes, “light waves simultaneously reminds us of what we already know and what we too often forget: there just isn’t enough time, and yet, an abundance of joy is everywhere, for each of us.” A tender exploration of the loss of a mother, this powerful book is not one to miss.

Christine Kitano and Alycia Pirmohamed, editors, They Rise Like a Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women Poets (Blue Oak, June 2022)

This landmark anthology is the first to feature exclusively poetry by Asian American women and nonbinary writers. The book includes eleven past Lantern Review contributors: Allison Albino, Franny Choi, Đỗ Nguyên Mai, Jenna Lê, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Michelle Peñaloza, Preeti Kaur Rajpal, Eileen R. Tabios, Annette Wong, Jane Wong, and Shelley Wong. (Lantern Review cofounders Iris A. Law and Mia Ayumi Malhotra are also included in the volume.)


Zeina Hashem Beck, O, (Penguin Random House, July 2022)

Jane Kuo, In the Beautiful Country (Quill Tree, June 2022)

Janice Lee, Separation Anxiety (Clash, August 2022)

Danni Quintos, Two Brown Dots (BOA, April 2022)

Sun Yung Shin, The Wet Hex (Coffee House, June 2022)

Sharon Suzuki-Martinez, The Loneliest Whale Blues (The Word Works, May 2022)

Eric Tran, Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke (Diode, July 2022)

Lynn Xu, And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight (Wave, April 2022)

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What’s on your summer poetry reading list? Tell us what titles you’ve picked up in the comments or on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@lanternreview).


Cover image of DIGEST by Gregory Pardlo

Digest by Gregory Pardlo (Four Way Books, 2014)

Please consider supporting a small press or independent bookstore with your purchase.

As an Asian American–focused publication, Lantern Review stands for diversity within the literary world. In solidarity with other communities of color and in an effort to connect our readers with a wider range of voices, we recommend a different collection by a non-Asian-American-identified BIPOC poet in each blog post.