Happy April! It’s national poetry month, and as usual, we’re celebrating both this month and next (APIA heritage month) on the LR blog with lots of Asian American poetry goodness. This year, for April, we’ll be running an installment of our annual Process Profiles series, and we’ve also teamed up with our friends at the Asian American Literary Review and Kaya Press to offer a giveaway that includes some truly awesome prizes.
First, though, we want to hear from you: what Asian American poets are on your reading list for this April, or what’s one poet whom you’d recommend to people who want to read more Asian American poetry this month? Leave a comment on this post by April 22nd with the name of at least one Asian American poet whose work you love, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to win a 1-year subscription to AALR, a copy of Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut’s Magnetic Refrain (reviewed on our blog here), and a copy of our very own Henry W. Leung’s chapbook, Paradise Hunger.
But the APIA poetry love doesn’t stop there! Those of you who follow us on Facebook might remember seeing pictures of the “Poetry Starter Packs” from our AWP display this year—little envelopes containing prompts and ekphrastic/found inspiration that we handed out to passers-by in the bookfair. Well, if you weren’t able to make AWP (or even if you picked up a starter pack there, but want more to share), here is your chance: we’ll be giving away bundles of 5 poetry starter packs—some to keep, and some to share—to each of the first ten (10) people to enter!
To help get you thinking, we thought we’d ask some of our Issue 5 contributors what Asian American poets they’ve been reading or whose work they’d recommend to others this month. Here’s what a couple of them said.
From Ching-In Chen:
I adore Larissa Lai’s Eggs in the Basement because she generated/mutated the whole body of language/the story from the actual language that she is playing with: “I generated a body of source text in a ten-minute automatic exercise, separated it as neatly as possible into subjects and predicates and wrote the poem by repeating first all the subjects and and cycling through the predicates in the first half, and then reversing the procedure for the second. Strangely, the result is loosely the story of Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, in which two murders are committed by a collective: an initial one, which traumatizes the collective, and a second, which covers over the first and consolidates an violent and violated melancholy from which the group cannot escape.” Next on my reading list is Paolo Javier’s The Feeling is Actual. I witnessed Paolo’s live film narration of “Monty and Turtle,” on the Feminism Meets Neo-Benshi: Movietelling Talks Back panel at AWP recently, which explores the story of an Asian American artist couple, and loved what I saw! After some discussion about the question about appropriation within neo/benshi practice, Paolo said that he dealt with this question by creating his own film clips to narrate to. Though the film clips aren’t part of the book, his script is published in this book.
From Desmond Kon:
For a lecture I’m giving, I’m rereading Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry, edited by Timothy Liu and published by Talisman House in 2000. In my research, I discovered Liu’s lovely essay titled, “Making the Case for Asian-American Poetry”, on Poets.org. I also just received Iris A. Law’s chapbook of wildly intelligent poems: Periodicity. These are lyric gems, some persona poems, that thread the imagined voices of great women scientists like Marie Curie, Rachel Carson and Anna Atkins. Finally, to throw in some fiction, I’m reading Tash Aw’s newest novel, Five Star Billionaire. The book intertwines the lives of migrant Malaysian workers, trying to eke out a living in Shanghai – this “Paris of the East” is at once bright lights and dog-eat-dog. In fact, Tash Aw is doing a reading at this awesome and intimate bookstore BooksActually, and I’m really looking forward to hearing him talk about the writing of his novel.
Our National Poetry Month giveaway will end at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, April 22nd. Winners will be announced the following week. Many thanks to our partners, Kaya Press and AALR, for their generous sponsorship, as well as to LR staff writer Henry Leung for donating a copy of his chapbook. We look forward to hearing from you, and hope that the comments that others leave in this thread will inspire you to read more Asian American poetry this April!
Iris & Mia
34 thoughts on “LR News: A Giveaway for National Poetry Month 2013”
I’m currently reading Li-Young Lee and Garrett Hongo.
I adore Srikanth Reddy’s Facts for Visitors–it’s genius.
Myung Mi Kim, Barbara Jane Reyes.
I’m reading Jon Pineda and when it comes out, Jason Bayani’s Amulet!
Eugene Gloria! And Luisa Igloria!
I love the work of Paisley Rekdal because it is unafraid of showing how intelligence and seriousness in scope and subject matter need not be anathema to the lyric in poetry. Her poems are gorgeous because they show a poet’s mind at work, on all the questions that engage it.
Really loving Kimiko Hahn right now, especially “The Narrow Road to the Interior.” MUST READ.
I’m reading Brynn Saito, Jason Bayani, and currently waiting for MANILA NOIR, ed. by Jessica Hagedorn.
I just finished reading Lynn Xu’s amazing Debts and Lessons. Also love Cathy Park Hong (recently: Engine Empire) and Myung Mi Kim!
I visit and revisit these lovely books:
*For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut — Takashi Hiraide
*Mad Science in Imperial City — Shanxing Wang
*Incubation: A Space for Monsters — Bhanu Kapil
I highly recommend Ching-In Chen’s “The Heart’s Traffic.” You will not be disappointed.
Recommend Arthur Sze’s translations of Chinese poetry in The Silk Dragon and his introduction on translation and translating these poems over a thirty year period.
Right now, I am reading Barbara Jane Reyes’ Diwata and re-reading Bino Realuyo’s The Gods We Worship Live Next Door as a means of looking and reassessing structure and form.
If you hold all off Karen An-Hwei Lee’s books together in your fist and wish real hard for all of your wildest dreams to come true, you will probably be disappointed. You will, however, have a fistful of books that will kick your ass.
Dilruba Ahmed, “Dhaka Dust”
Karen Llagas, “Archipelago Dust”
Angie Chuang- just won Willow Books grand prize for prose
recognizing folks already mentioned, folks i love who will surely be mentioned and amazing folks like ching-in chen whose comments are above, the two most important i’m reading right now are:
– cynthia oka’s nomad of salt and hard water
– leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha’s love cake.
both books are survival and vision, craft and prism.
also, kenji liu’s and david maduli’s upcoming work. few men are investigating and re-imagining descent and masculinity the way these two are.
books / samples
Pos J. Moua, Andre Yang, Soul Choj Vang, Ka Vang
Kimiko Hahn, Sesshu Foster, Ching-In Chen
“Night Jasmine,” forthcoming prize-winnning book by Angela Torres
“Seam,” forthcoming prize-winnning book by Tarfia Faizullah
“Mezzanines,” now available on pre-order, by Matthew Olzmann
[I was very fortunate to read early versions of these first three books – you won’t want to miss them!]
“Archipelago Dust” by Karen Llagas
I highly recommend “Water Chasing Water,” a poetry collection published by Kaya Press in 2013. The author is Koon Woon, who has been living in Seattle Chinatown for dozens of years, and whose poems are all wrought out of solitude and, to quote from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “set a thousand horses galloping in the Asian diaspora in which so many are caught.”
Just as Koon Woon is a true poet of the first generation of ABCs, Allen Qing Yuan is a true poet of the second generation of CBCs, whose poems have appeared across 13 countries, although the Vancouver-based author is still only 17 years old. Allen’s poems, such as “Banana Blues, ” “Traffic Lights” and “China-Charm,” also deserve attention.
I had been in love with Beau Sia for a while, and I finally got to see him do a reading recently. He was even better in person than I had imagined 🙂
Ching-In Chen – The Heart’s Traffic!
I would like to name more than one:
have always loved Li Young Lee and of course the great, Tsering Wangmo
Lee Herrick is the man– always. Andre Yang, can’t wait to see more.
Li-Young Lee (Rose, and others), Hiroshi Kashiwagi (Ocean Beach), David S. Cho (Night Sessions)
I love the poetry of Bao Phi, Ed Bok Lee, Tarfia Faizullah, and Bhanu Kapil.
I recently saw the film “Silent Years,” which is based on a poem by Lois-Ann Yamanaka. I’m hooked on her style and language.
I am surprised no one has mentioned him, but Ocean Vuong is a superstar. His chapbook, “Burnings” is a masterpiece.
Also, Sasha Pimentel’s “Insides She Swallowed” won (and deservedly so) the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
However, without a doubt, the best American poetry is being written by Hmong Americans, like Burlee Vang, Andre Yang, and others from the California Central Valley: http://www.hmongwriters.org/. (I once had a conversation with Burlee Vang and told him that poetry written by Hmong Americans has such a newness and sense of discovery to it, and he said that it is because there was never Hmong poetry before and what his community of writers was doing was essentially a new endeavor and discovery of language).
Currently reading Lynn Xu’s “Debts & Lessons” along with Kimiko Hahn’s “The Narrow Road to the Interior”! And everyone’s comments here are helping me define what I should be reading next!
I love the poets already mentioned above. And will add to the chorus. Of course Ishle Yi Park. For those of you who were lucky enough to read her last series of sonnets, they were breath-taking!!
Sally Wen Mao! Lo Kwa Mei-En! Mesmerizing talents and badass women.
Hoa Nguyen — So abstract and multifaceted.
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