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Kenjicliu
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* Previous posts in this series: Kenji C. Liu - Craig Santos Perez - Ching-In Chen - Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha - Andre Yang - Barbara Jane Reyes As someone who was raised as a man, my gender is an incredibly slippery experience to write about. Attempts to explore the making of my gender through poetry is an ongoing and uneven unraveling of layers. For inspiration, I look to critical race studies and whiteness studies scholars who point out that whiteness is so normalized and taken for granted, white people have a remarkably hard time grasping its deep reach in their... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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* Previous posts in this series: Kenji C. Liu - Craig Santos Perez - Ching-In Chen - Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha - Andre Yang When Kenji Liu invited me here to write about APIA poetry communities, I confess, I wanted to rant about the criticisms I have with APIA poetry communities. Liu wrote in his introductory blog post, “The nationalist framework of Asian Pacific American is at times too parochial,” which is something I needed to read another APIA poet write. Community has always felt like a muddle to me, in which too much compromise, too much silencing and distancing of... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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* Previous posts in this series: Kenji C. Liu - Craig Santos Perez - Ching-In Chen - Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha A funny thing happened to me today. I walked into a nearly empty café and stood in line behind a woman who’d just finished giving her order to the barista. The two, both of whom were white, continued to have a conversation after the customer’s order was taken. Not wanting to be rude, I waited for them to finish what I thought to be a brief exchange. Shortly after, a young African American man entered the café and the barista... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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* Previous posts in this series: Kenji C. Liu - Craig Santos Perez - Ching-In Chen Friday, May 18 marked three years since the official end of Sri Lanka's civil war. I didn't realize this til today–I was in rural Northern California at a writer's residency with no phone or internet service. Once I came home to South Berkeley and recovered from my solo 7-hour drive home from the redwoods, I turned on Facebook and Al Jazeera. I was confronted with both the reality of the anniversary, and the question of what my options are–as a Sri Lankan writer and... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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* Previous posts in this series: Kenji C. Liu - Craig Santos Perez I write to you from Milwaukee, Midwest city, most segregated city in the United States. What it means to write and be in conversation with Asian Pacific Islander American poetry here (a mutated broken-city text, a choral rendering of the many iterations of bodies within this space) feels very different from the Southern California desert where I lived right before moving here or in Massachusetts where I grew up. * [Notes to self, locations to map: Grand Avenue: Lee Chung's where Wah Lee had complained of theft... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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* Previous posts in this series: Kenji C. Liu The first time I read "To 'P' or Not to 'P'? Marking the Territory Between Pacific Islander and Asian American Studies", by Vicente M. Diaz, I really had to "P." Badly. And by "P," I mean I had to "Pacific." I had recently completed an MFA in Poetry (the other stream of "P" in my life), and I was thirsty for Pacific literature. So I applied to a Ph.D. program in Ethnic Studies. I didn't get in. So I applied again the next year and they must have pitied me. As... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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I have the pleasure and honor to once again guest curate a week of blog posts here for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). Thank you very much to Best American Poetry for offering this space for thinking and writing. I consider myself active in Asian Pacific American (APA) arts and culture, but my allegiance isn’t to the identity–it’s to issues, histories, and lineages. The truth is, a lot of contemporary APA poetry is less an inspiration for me than is poetry and writing from other communities, past and present. Those who help me find new ways to think and... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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May 17, 2012