It’s happening! The Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center is hosting its first ever Asian American Literature Festival next week in DC. I’ll be participating, as weill an incredible roster of artists, writers, publishers, and scholars. This is a historic event, and not to be missed. My participation is three-fold. I’ll be reading poetry as part of the Poetry Journal’s Asian American themed issue launch on Thursday night. On Friday, I’ll be making a Literary Address. The title of my remarks is “Awarding Abjection.” It’s likely to be a somewhat provocative conversation, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m also hosting a salon on Experimentalism and Community Building. It should be a busy but amazing time! I’m so grateful to the organizers, most especially Lawrence Minh-Bui Davis for his selfless organizing efforts and immensely generous imagination for community. Click the image above to visit their program site.
It happened! My fourth book, No Comet, That Serpent in the Sky Means Noise, is now available to order from Kore Press. I can’t believe I get to join their family! I love this cover, designed by my dear friend and incredible poet, James Meetze. After reading his book, Phantom Hour, I knew we spoke the same language of loss. He also wrote a statement for the back of the text. I felt enfolded by such love and insight with Lisa and Ann at Kore, and with James. Cynthia Arrieu-King and Ruth Ellen Kocher also wrote statements for the book. Their spirits are simpatico with mine on so many levels. Cindy truly has become family to me over the years. Right now, I feel so gently held.
The cover art (and a few images internal to the text) were generously made available by Finnish photographer J-P Metsavainio. I am a huge fan of his incredible astral photographs, and found them to display an incredible subtlety and brilliance. I can’t wait for him to get a copy!
Some of them were the very first poems I wrote when I decided that I was a poet, back in my early 20s, astonishingly. One thing I will say about these poems is that they came from a space of grief. And yet, when I look these poems over, I feel solace. I think you will, too. I’ve been preoccupied with devastation the last many years. Solar Maximum explored a monster light–the last light of the sun before it destroyed the earth, and leaned into something strange. I feel like this new book of poems hold devastation a bit differently. They’re very human, these poems. Solar Maximum tended towards what we are moving into as we became other than human; with this new book, we’re still ourselves, miraculously.
I’m a little behind with updates and maintaining this page, but wanted to share some new work out online. The Spectacle Magazine, hosted by the English, Creative Writing, and Visual Arts programs at Washington University in St. Louis, published a short piece of mine, “Yet the grief body is a body of water” as part of their minima series.
I am incredibly honored to have been included in this inaugural issue of SUBLEVEL, a new digital journal launched by the CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program. I shared some of my work that I composed while in the grasslands of Wyoming in 2015. I’ve also allowed them to release one of my full videopoems, “Grasslands, No Wilds.”
I can’t believe I get to to be in the company of Janice Lee Candice Lin, Mel Y. Chen, Jih-Fei Cheng, Solmaz Sharif, Rickey Laurentiis, Hilton Als, Litia Perta, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, Simone White, Andrew F Giles, Steven Karl, Muriel Leung, Asiya Wadud, and Nicholas Wong.
CalArts is an amazing art space to me–a brilliant community of experiment, social engagement, and risk. I’ve loved everyone I’ve intersected with there. I’m honored to be in their digital family, to launch–or burrow–with sublevel.
I just received my author copy of issue 8 of Apogee Journal. I am so grateful to Joey De Jesus and Muriel Leung for inviting me to send work, for including me with such an amazing cohort of writers. I wept reading Justin El-Khazen’s “Hummingbird Effect,” which responds so eloquently to the outrage we all felt at the public and ongoing police brutality across the country. I loved the vibrant reproductions of photographs and installations, the intelligence of their critique and social reach. So many of these pieces describe a haunting, the traumatic post-memory of an Event that is seared into us from a distance, and how we continue. If you want to see how art connects us, how it urgently speaks, then please order a copy and subscribe to this journal.
My piece is a short selection from a personal essay/lyric study/photo series titled “Relinquish the Sky.” It explores cultural orphaning and light.
I’m honored to have had work the other week at a pop-up installation, CTRL + ALT, in NYC curated by the Smithsonian Institute exploring future imaginations. Over 40 artists, scholars, and writers participated in this weekend exhibition, hosted in Chelsea. My piece was an homage to Frank Herbert’s Dune. Check out the program page! Though the exhibition is closed, the website offers outstanding information about the various visual artists who participated. There is so much INCREDIBLE WORK out there!