We join forces with feminist poetry collective Belladonna for a night of surrealist and experimental writing by Betsy Fagin, Cathy Park Hong, Michael Leong, and Dorothy Tse, who is visiting from Hong Kong. Founded at Bluestockings in 1999, Belladonna has showcased over 200 writers internationally, who all share an intense desire to be as “dangerous with language” as possible. We’ll have specially produced Belladonna chaplets of work by Dorothy Tse and Michael Leong for sale at the event!
Poet Cathy Park Hong--an early fellowship recipient from AAWW--most recently published the essay Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde, an explosive essay that called out the experimental poetry establishment for racially discriminatory practices. She’s the author of Engine Empire, a poetic guide through the fictionalized boomtowns of the Californian old west, present-day industrialized China, and the digital future. David Mitchell deemed it “a brainy, glinting triptych about what powers 'progress,' what its human costs are, and where it might be taking our species.” ★ Dorothy Tse’s short story collection Snow and Shadow re-imagines Hong Kong as an eerily captivating dreamscape, where limbs are chopped off and used as currency and the forests are patrolled by dwarves. As Dorothy writes, “Like the city itself, the language of Hong Kong writers should be described as floating as well, a language that is in-between. It is dangerous to hang in the sky, yet it is this dangerous situation that makes the miracle of the city, as well as its literature, possible.” (Read her poem in our Hong Kong protest poetry portfolio.) ★ Michael Leong’s most recent book Cutting Time with a Knife (Black Square Editions 2012) is a daring and playful work of visual collage and conceptual poetry that remixes T.S. Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent with images from the Periodic Table. He edited our Visual Poetry portfolio here. ★ Poet Betsy Fagin served as the Librarian for the People’s Library of Occupy Wall Street through the consensus of the New York City General Assembly. She’s the author of several books and chapbooks including rosemary stretch (dusie, 2006), which is available online, and All is not yet lost, which Brenda Coultras calls “a luminous love letter to revolution, of resistance to a slow death in capitalism’s arms… this book is a song for office and kitchen workers as well as a challenge to the powers that be.”