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.”
The AAWW at the 2015 AWP Conference and Bookfair!
In the last few years, we've seen a rise in global conflicts (the protests in Cairo during Arab Spring and self-immolation of Tibetan monks in China). Diasporic writers, such as Asian and Arab American writers, have had a profound and conflicted response to what's happening in their places of origin.
Our panel features four notable writers discussing what “territory” might be, both literally and metaphorically, and what role their work plays in engaging with social and political dynamics across the world...
Join us as we travel from the protected forest lands of South India to the inner life of a wandering Desi urbanite in London. Tania James’s lyrical new novel The Tusk That Did the Damage portrays the tense and complicated politics at Kavanar Wildlife Park, where bull elephants trample visitors, find themselves studied by zoologists and filmmakers, and are themselves hunted by poachers. Not only does Tania creates a complex web of messy desires and motivations, ranging from the ecological to the romantic, she does something stranger and more experimental: she narrates much of the novel from the perspective of the Gravedigger, a bull elephant. As The New York Times wrote of this “impressive” “stark tragedy”: “James inhabits the elephant’s mind at a measured remove, resulting in a close third-person account that resists the easy temptations of moralistic and idealistic anthropomorphizing.” Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad revolves around another endangered species, the struggling poet--in this case, a desi Londoner named Ananda, who spends the novel wandering wanders around mid-eighties London. This is a novel of Sebaldian introspection and urbanity, a book in conversation with both the Odyssey and Joyce’s Ulysses. As Booker Finalist Neel Mukherjee writes The Guardian: “Chaudhuri’s luminously intelligent novel appropriates a literary tradition that is both his and not his; in making Homer and Joyce speak in Bengali and in the English used by educated, cosmopolitan Bengalis, Odysseus Abroad has placed itself, with erudition and playfulness, on the map of modernism.” /\ /\ \/\/ \/\/