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For this seventh and final post for APA Heritage Month, I posed a couple of prompts to all the guest bloggers from this past week–Patricia Y. Ikeda, Iris A. Law, Barbara Jane Reyes, Gerald Maa, and myself. As a way to provide readers some way to explore on their own, the first prompt was to list their personal top five APIA poets. From Iris A. Law (Lantern Review): 1. Kimiko Hahn I had studied the poem "The Artist's Daughter" as an undergrad, but it wasn't until last year that I finally read the eponymous collection (W.W. Norton 2004)–and I was... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
“If my freedom were not in the book, where would it be? If my book were not my freedom, what would it be? Truth cannot but be violent. There is no peaceable truth. [...] The violence of the book is turned against the book: battle without mercy.” from The Book of Margins, Edmond Jabes In The Book of Margins, Edmond Jabes instigates a deep questioning of writing by writing. He comes to this through a practice of Jewishness that lives through a deeply dialogical relationship with the book. In this practice, what is written is not Truth, but something to... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
James Baldwin starts off a masterful essay called “A Fly in Buttermilk” by saying, “I found myself, willy-nilly, alchemized into an American the moment I touched French soil.” When approached with this prompt, I immediately wondered, “forget being an American, what does it mean to become an American?” Here are two poets from the Americas, well-laurelled and vastly popular in other countries, but virtually unknown in the United States. José Watanabe (1946-2007) is Japanese Peruvian poet, one of Peru’s most celebrated writers. He spent his early life on a sugar plantation, but moved to Trujilo in time for his schooling.... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks Fredken! Hope to see your comments on the other posts in this series.
I have been an admirer of Watsonville poet Shirley Ancheta for many years. I came to her poems when I was a wee undergrad; she became known to me as one of the formative poets of the Kearny Street Workshop and 1970’s Flips. She’s one of our most talented Filipina poets who have not yet seen publication of a full-length poetry book. I should provide some context here. In Northern California, the generations of Filipino American poets previous to mine are predominantly male, writing what I read as very masculine narratives. The prevalent theme of the work is the Manongs,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
One of the joys of editing Lantern Review is that Mia (our Associate Editor) and I get to work with contributors from a wide variety of backgrounds. We’ve published work by people who are just venturing out into the world of poetry, as well as work by veterans who have many books and awards to their names. We also work with artists who are invested in many different career paths: some are academics—students or teachers by day; others are publishers, community organizers, nonprofit administrators, designers, engineers, computer programmers, ceramists. Some of our contributors have graduate degrees in creative writing; others... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks Oscar. I hope the Sith will forgive me when I say that Sith poetry is rather dry and uninteresting. ;-)
Thanks to you Stacey, and to everyone at Best American Poetry for this opportunity.
You old-timers like fo’ complain. No mo’ moi nowadays, no mo’ papio No mo’ nothin’. from “No Mo’ Fish on Maui,” Barry Masuda My mom grew up in Hawai’i, a Nisei (second generation Japanese American) whose first languages were Japanese and English. She remembered being outside the morning that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, people screaming and running for cover when the airplanes banked and the morning sun illuminated the red disc of the rising sun on their wings. After marrying a Hoosier Nisei, she raised her children in Ohio. Long-distance phone calls were special occasions in those days; late at... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
May is Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Heritage Month, and I'm happy to have been given the opportunity to take this week to introduce the Best American Poetry audience to some worthy American poets and journals they may not be familiar with. When I've taught Asian American Studies courses, one of my initial assignments has always been to ask students to define “Asia” or “Asian.” Without fail, there is never any single definition that everyone can agree on. This is “Asia” as geopolitical successor to the colonialist idea of the “Orient,” American imperialism in the Pacific, and Asian exclusion by... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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May 1, 2011