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Remembrance Is a Ghost

Fifteen pieces on history and the past

This list is part of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of The Margins, which highlights portions of the magazine’s archive organized around a theme.

What if the stanzas of a sestina, the passage of a novella, or the body of an essay can put the living in touch with the dead, can let the present and the past meet at the place where a blackened word strikes on white space? Over the past ten years on The Margins many of our writers have sought language to relate to the past, whether it be histories of war and colonialism or the personal archive. Emerging from their work are ghosts that linger today. Just as these writers trace historical memory and family history, many also outline where memory is absent, patchy, or unreliable.

Read the full list below.

Pieces from top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Tending the Speculative: Poems from the Asian American Adoptee Diaspora
    edited by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs with poems by Kevin Minh Allen, Sun Yung Shin, Lisa Marie Rollins, Katie Hae Leo, Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut, Bryan Thao Worra, Molly Gaudry, and Lee Herrick (2013)

  2. The Ghosts They Carried
    by Kitana Ananda (2014)

  3. Ghost Forest
    by Pik-Shuen Fung (2016)

  4. AAWW TV: Archive Seance
    with M NourbeSe Philip and Phinder Dulai (2016)

  5. Pacita
    by Melissa R. Sipin (2016)

  6. Our War Is in the Mind
    by Sokunthary Svay (2017)

  7. Memory of Figment a Merely: Four Poems by Zaina Alsous
    by Zaina Alsous (2017)

  8. KonMarimasu: A Japanese American Incarceration Roadtrip
    by Karen Tei Yamashita (2017)

  9. Three Poems from The Year of Blue Water
    by Yanyi (2017)

  10. Old Goats, New Villages
    by ZH Liew (2017)

  11. AAWW TV: The Poetics of Haunting
    with Jane Wong, Carlina Duan, Christine Shan Shan Hou, and Muriel Leung (2018)

  12. To Be Close Again to Meena and to Learn More from Her Poetry, I Compose a Cento
    by Kimiko Hahn (2019)

  13. The Period of Summoning Relatives
    by Brandon Shimoda (2019)

  14. Voices in the Archive: An Interview with Monique Truong
    by benedict nguyễn (2019)

  15. Abecedarian for American Assimilation
    by Serrina Zou (2021)