water/tongue

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2019-07-31 01:38Z by Steven

water/tongue

University of Chicago Press (Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.)
April 2019
72 pages
4 halftones
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 9781632430656

mai c. doan

Grappling with the shock of her grandmother’s suicide, mai c. doan undertook a writing project that might give voice to her loss as well as to grapple with memory, and the challenge of articulation and of documentation, in all of their contradictions and (im)possibilities. In the poems that comprise water/tongue, doan conjures visceral and intuitive elements of experience to articulate the gendered and intergenerational effects of violence, colonialism, and American empire. Breaking the silence surrounding these experiences, doan conjures a host of voices dispersed across time and space to better understand the pain that haunted her family—made tragically manifest in her grandmother’s death. Looking not only to elements of Vietnamese history and culture, but to the experience of migration and racism in the United States, this book charts a path for both understanding and resistance. Indeed, doan does not merely wish to unearth the past, but also to change the future. If we want to do so, she shows, we must commune with the voices of sufferers both past and present. doan demonstrates how even the form of a work of poetry can act as a subversion of what a reader expects from the motion of the act of reading a line of type or a page of text. doan disarms and unsettles the ways a reader is led to levels of comprehension, and thus disrupts what “comprehension” might mean, as the reader follows the flow of a work, providing an opportunity to sense, and to confront hierarchies that structure ordinary reading and writing. doan brings a reader to conscious appraisal of the hierarchies that affect us, and how these hierarchies can constrain our insights and our mobility. water/tongue is a critical read for anyone interested in the long effects of gendered and cultural violence, and the power of speech to forge new and empowering directions.

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The Inheritance of Haunting, Poems

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2019-07-12 18:46Z by Steven

The Inheritance of Haunting, Poems

University of Notre Dame Press
March 2019
108 pages
6.00 x 9.00in
Paperback ISBN: 9780268105389
Hardcover ISBN: 9780268105372
eBook (PDF) ISBN: 9780268105396
eBook (EPUB) ISBN: 9780268105402

Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes

The Inheritance of Haunting

Winner of the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, The Inheritance of Haunting, by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, is a collection of poems contending with historical memory and its losses and gains carried within the body, wrought through colonization and its generations of violence, war, and survival.

The driving forces behind Rhodes’s work include a decolonizing ethos; a queer sensibility that extends beyond sexual and gender identities to include a politics of deviance; errantry; ramshackled bodies; and forms of loving and living that persist in their wild difference. Invoking individual and collective ghosts inherited across diverse geographies, this collection queers the space between past, present, and future. In these poems, haunting is a kind of memory weaving that can bestow a freedom from the attenuations of the so-called American dream, which, according to Rhodes, is a nightmare of assimilation, conquest, and genocide. How love unfolds is also a Big Bang emergence into life—a way to, again and again, cut the future open, open up the opening, undertake it, begin.

These poems are written for immigrants, queer and transgender people of color, women, Latin Americans, diasporic communities, and the many impacted by war.

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Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2019-05-25 18:12Z by Steven

Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love

Copper Canyon Press
2019-05-21
80 pages
5.9 x 0.3 x 8.9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 978-1556595615

Keith S. Wilson, Poet, Editor, Game Designer

Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love is a collection whose poems approach family, politics, and romance, often through the lens of space: the vagaries of a relationship full of wonder and coldness, separation and exploration. There is the sense of the speaker as a cartographer of familiar spaces, of land he has never left or relationships that have stayed with him for years, and always with the newness of an alien or stranger. Acutely attuned to the heritage of Greco-Roman myth, Wilson writes through characters such as the Basilisk and the Minotaur, emphasizing the intense loneliness these characters experience from their uniqueness. For the racially ambiguous speaker of these poems, who is both black and not black, who has lived between the American South and the Midwest, there are no easy answers. From the fields of Kentucky to the pigeon coops of Chicago, identities and locations blur―the pastoral bleeds into the Afrofuturist, black into white and back again.

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Hybrida: Poems

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Poetry, Social Justice, United States on 2019-05-01 22:12Z by Steven

Hybrida: Poems

W. W. Norton
May 2019
144 pages
6.4 × 8.5 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-324-00248-2

Tina Chang, Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn, New York

A stirring and confident examination of mixed-race identity, violence, and history skillfully rendered through the lens of motherhood.

In this timely, assured collection, Tina Chang confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States. She ruminates on the relationship between her son’s blackness and his safety, exploring the dangers of childhood in a post–Trayvon Martin era and invoking racialized roles in fairy tales. Against the stark urban landscapes of threat and surveillance, Chang returns to the language of mothers.

Meditating on the lives of Michael Brown, Leiby Kletzky, and Noemi Álvarez Quillay—lost at the hands of individuals entrusted to protect them—Chang creates hybrid poetic forms that mirror her investigation of racial tensions. Through an agile blend of zuihitsu, ghazal, prose poems, mosaic poems, and lyric essays, Hybrida envisions a childhood of mixed race as one that is complex, emotionally wrought, and often vulnerable. Hybrida is a twenty-first-century tale that is equal parts a mother’s love and her fury, an ambitious and revelatory exploration of identity that establishes Tina Chang as one of the most vital voices of her generation.

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haircut poems

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2019-02-06 01:01Z by Steven

haircut poems

Dancing Girl Press
2017

Nina Li Coomes

haircut poems | Nina Li Coomes

Nina Li Coomes is a Japanese and American writer, performer, producer and artist. She was born in Nagoya, raised in Chicago, and currently resides in Boston, MA. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in EATER, Catapult, The Collapsar, RHINO poetry, and The Margins, among other places.

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Why Can’t It Be Tenderness

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2019-01-28 02:17Z by Steven

Why Can’t It Be Tenderness

University of Wisconsin Press
November 2018
104 pages
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 9780299319946

Michelle Brittan Rosado

  • Winner of the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize

Charting a journey through schoolyards and laundromats, suburban gardens and rice paddies, yoga studios and rural highways, Michelle Brittan Rosado crafts poems that blend elegy and praise. In settings from California to Malaysian Borneo, and the wide Pacific between them, she explores themes of coming-of-age, mixed-race identity, diaspora, and cultural inheritance. With empathy for the generations past, she questions how we might navigate our history to find a way through it, still holding on to the ones we love. Like an ocean wave, these poems recede and return, with gratitude for the quotidian and for beauty found even in fragments.

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Blood & Belonging

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2018-11-13 04:15Z by Steven

Blood & Belonging

Amazon Digital Services
2018-11-09
156 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1730892684

Sirinda Pairin

Blood & Belonging by [Pairin, Sirinda]

Siri Pairin’s poems explore the challenges and triumphs of biracial identity. With an honest and minimalist style, she writes about themes such as duality, belonging, love, home, space, culture, identity, race, ethnicity, heritage, and representation.

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An Honest Woman: Poems

Posted in Books, Canada, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Poetry, Women on 2018-10-08 04:00Z by Steven

An Honest Woman: Poems

Talonbooks
2017
104 pages
6 W × 9 H × 1 D inches
Paperback/Softback ISBN: 978177201144

Jónína Kirton

An Honest WomanFront Cover

An Honest Woman by Jónína Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today.

Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions.

An Honest Woman explores the many ways the female body is shaped by questions that have been too political to ask: What happens when a woman decides to take her sexuality into her own hands, dismissing cultural norms and the expectations of her parents? How is a young woman’s sexuality influenced when she is perceived as an “exotic” other? Can a woman reconnect with her Indigenous community by choosing Indigenous lovers?

Daring and tender in their honesty and wisdom, these poems challenge the perception of women’s bodies as glamorous and marketable commodities and imagine an embodied female experience that accommodates the role of creativity and a nurturing relationship with the land.

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Blinking in the Light

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2018-06-14 19:00Z by Steven

Blinking in the Light

Cinnamon Press
2016-02-01
28 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1910836057

Louisa Adjoa Parker

A collection of confessional poems which, in starkly telling a story about a fraught pregnancy and the suicide of a man very close to the speaker’s family, evokes with powerful images and unadorned language a raw sense of contemporary life.

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To Sweeten Bitter

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2017-12-26 02:16Z by Steven

To Sweeten Bitter

Out-Spoken Press
2017-04-10
49 pages
8.5 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches
ISBN-13: 978-0993103872

Raymond Antrobus

Consider the name of Raymond Antrobus’ extraordinary collection of poems for a moment: To Sweeten Bitter. It’s a phrase of infinite possibility and tender worry, open and searching, wanting and volatile. And in this sense, it serves as a kind of secret refrain for us, a haunted current that charges after each line and image, each heart-fraught question (“you think you’re going / to go free?”) and tentative hope (“there is always enough time / in our lives to see / what we must see”). Here, a father laughs “you cannot love sugar and hate your sweetness” and a son reckons with all that might mean “in the scratched light” of history and the “turning / and the losing of myself.” Derek Walcott once reflected that “I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer;” these poems— in all their urgent beauty—affirm that faith, embody it. —R.A. Villanueva

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