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
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 —
Many happy returns, Kimberly! Thanks for sharing your list with us.
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.
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.
*FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY [SAINA]
by Craig Santos Perez
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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 either books they plan to read themselves this summer, or titles they want to suggest to the wider LR community. This week features a set of reads from Issue 2 contributor Kimberly Alidio.
I’m halfway through the Naropa Summer Writing Program — hello from Boulder to the Lantern Review family! My reading list relates to the conversations of the past two weeks. As I was compiling this, I was often tempted to add the line: “and, eventually, all her other books.”
Anselm Berrigan, Notes from Irrelevance (Wave, 2011)
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 either books they plan to read themselves this summer, or titles they want to suggest to the wider LR community. This week features a set of reads from Issue 1 contributor and 2010-2011 staff writer Henry W. Leung.
Criticism: Foreign Accents by Steven G. Yao. This just came out and was a helpful if limited summation of the three broad phases of Chinese American verse (racial protest, lyric testimony, & ethnic abstraction).
Chinese Writers on Writing edited by Arthur Sze. Also just came out. All translated from Chinese, some for the first time. I recommend the whole series: it’s a hugely important intro to current international writers–on their own terms.
After Confession edited by Kate Sontag & David Graham. Ten years old but a grand discovery for me. American poets on where the “I” belongs in poems today.
Poetry: The History of Anonymity by Jennifer Chang, my patron poet from Kundiman!
Graphic: Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines. I’ve just started this and it’s gorgeous, multitextual, and resonates with some of what DeLillo did in White Noise.
Thanks for this reading list, Henry, and happy summer!
Speaking of summer reading, my summer reads (and flicks too, apparently!) have demonstrated the uncanny trend of featuring the work and life of a single character: Gertrude Stein. Without knowing anything about the book except that it was recommended to me by multiple people, I started reading Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt. I’m about four chapters into the novel, and have just begun to realize that the mysterious “Mesdames” referenced obliquely throughout the introductory chapter are none other than Alice B. Toklas and, as she is called in the book, “GertrudeStein.”
I had also planned to read Juliana Spahr’s Everybody’s Autonomy: Collective Reading and Collective Identity(University of Alabama Press, 2001) later this month, and when I flipped through it a few days ago — lo and behold, the title of chapter one? “There Is No Way of Speaking English: The Polylingual Grammars of Gertrude Stein.” Spahr goes on to consider such figures as Lyn Hejinian, Harryette Mullen, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, but, as far as I can tell, grounds most of her inquiry in the groundwork Stein laid for future generations of poets in Tender Buttons and other influential writings.
But last night’s movie is what really convinced me that something the universe has been orchestrating a grand conspiracy to get Stein on my mind. Friends had warned us to walk into Midnight in Paris without any expectations or previous knowledge about the film, so we had no clue what the movie was about — or into whose home the main character would stumble after wandering into 1920s Paris. I won’t spoil the (admittedly very thin) plot, but suffice it to say, I got the message.
Welcome to our Summer Reads 2011 blog series! We have asked Lantern Review contributors from Issues 1 and 2 to share with us what they are reading this summer, and will be featuring their responses weekly throughout the months of July and August. This first installment features a set of reads from Issue 1 contributor Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé.
I just finished a talk at The Asian Festival of Children’s Content, where I spoke on how literary greats like Rudyard Kipling and Robert Graves actually wrote poems specifically for children, while honing their own craft. Really relished reading poems like Walter de la Mare’s “The Listeners”, Eliot’s “Song of the Jellicles”, Leonard Clark’s “Mushrooms”, Seamus Heaney’s “Trout”, and Tolkien’s “The Mewlips”, among others. It was wonderful researching on the subject matter. All of a sudden, I felt my own poetry distilling itself, paring down its language to become more accessible, a strange distancing from my love for compression and heavy metaphorical constructs. Helps me remain in a more contemplative space, which I welcomed. So, I’ve found myself loving some books that afford this beautiful transparent quality, mixed in with my favorite experimental fare. I also have a commissioned article coming up – a reflective piece on the interdisciplinary art I do – for The British Council’s Writing the City Project, in which I serve on their writing panel as a contest judge. So, I’m already working through some heavy critical, theoretical material, like the books by Hagberg, Brown, and Genette. And to make happy my love for all things graphic and visual, I’ve got a whole list of great chapbooks from Dan Waber. I’ll be taking some of these with me on the plane, on the coach when I travel, which will make all that waiting time disappear. These will definitely take me past the summer into the new year, and I’ll lap up every moment of it!
For our Summer Reads series, we’ve asked contributors from Issue 1 to share what they’ve been reading or plan to read this summer. In this, our last installment, Subhashini Kaligotla shares about her summer reading plans.
Subhashini tells us,
“Since I am very interested in long poems but have succeeded in writing them only by putting together sections or fragments, I thought it would be useful to read Paisley Rekdal, who is a master of the long poem that marries lyric and narrative quite skillfully. So I am looking forward to reading her Six Girls Without Pants and The Invention of the Kaleidoscope.
Subhashini’s poem “Sydney Notebook” can be found in Issue 1 of Lantern Review. Many thanks to her, and to all of the Issue 1 contributors who have shared their reading lists with us this summer. We hope that this series has inspired you to explore new titles and poets in your own summer reading queues. Now it’s your turn: what is the best book that you’ve read this summer, and why? We’d love to hear; tell us about it in the comments below.