Gearing up for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference coming up this week in Denver. Wow, I feel tired before my plane even leaves, but am excited to see old writing friends from across the country and will be interesting to re-visit a place I made my home a very long time ago.
A very busy poetry month, but am making time to participate in the Writing a Daily Poem by sending one poem a postcard a day to Kundiman folks across the country & by continuing with the Grind, a ever-changing group of writers who commit to sending writing on a daily basis to each other. Also, am excited about sharing the work I’ve been doing with fellow Kundiman poet Tamiko Beyer on a weekly decolonial poetics exchange at AWP (see Decolonial Poetics panel below!)
I also heard about Kelli Agodon’s Poetry Giveaway where we give away one book of our own and another by a poet we admire through Poemeleon. If anyone is interested in these books below, post your name in the comment boxes below (a way to find you if you win) and I’ll pick a random winner at the end of April and will mail the books to you for free. I will give away my book, The Heart’s Traffic, and Cathy Park Hong‘s Dance Dance Revolution. Hong creates her own dialect (a desert language compiled from an amalgamation of 300 tongues), landscape, geography, history — a poetic sequence in a way that takes my breath away. I find her work exciting because it pushes aesthetically towards a border poetics that is political and engages what’s going on in the world today in a way that I would like to aspire to.
Also, I feel lucky that 3 poems from my Riverside Chinatown series — “Killed Memory Together,” “Instructions from the Postcard Maker,” & “3. Breakfast Tray” have found a home in the gorgeous inaugural issue of Tidal Basin Review.
Happy poetry month!
My AWP Schedule, or where to look me up in Denver:
Wed., April 7th
8-11pm, Kundiman/Cave Canem Reading & Salon, Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St. Denver, CO
Join the Cave Canem & Kundiman Families for a Reading Featuring Toi Derricotte, Paisley Rekdal, Cornelius Eady, Oliver de la Paz, Dawn Lundy Martin & Kazim Ali + a salon featuring Cave Canem and Kundiman fellows & family (bring a poem to share!) Emceed by Ching-In Chen & Tara Betts.
Thurs. April 8th
9-10:15am, Rooms 301, 302, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
R117. Decolonial Poetics: Womanist, Indigenous, and Queer Poets of Color on the Art of Decolonization. (Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, ku’ualoha ho’omanawanui, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Susan Deer Cloud, Ching-In Chen w/Tamiko Beyer, Lisa Suhair Majaj) Many poets of color see art playing a vital role in the decolonization of our bodies, cultures, and landbases. In what ways do we use writing as an act of re-creation, alongside other forms of activism, organizing, and spirituality, by which to undo centuries of white supremacist, capitalist, and heteropatriarchal intrusions into the workings of our communities? How does poetry serve to decolonize our lives, and how must we decolonize our poetic traditions in order to live?
Fri. April 9th.
1-2pm — Book Signing, Red Hen Press Table, C1-C4, Exhibit Hall A
Sat. April 10th
10:30-11:45am – Room 201, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
S132. Re-writing America: Complicating the Poetics of Identity. (Neelanjana Banerjee, Hayan Charara, Samantha Thornhill, Ching-In Chen, Tim Hernandez, Summi Kaipa) Even as the minority surges towards the majority in making up the New America, poets seek out the nurturing spaces of ethno-literary organizations like Kundiman and Cave Canem. Popular ethnic-specific anthologies are being published each year. Yet the work coming out of these cultural boundaries is incredibly diverse in style and influence. This panel examines the ways in which hyphenated American poets are rethinking the concept of identity and, in turn, shaping the national zeitgeist.
1:30-2:30pm — Book Signing, Red Hen Press Table, C1-C4, Exhibit Hall A