Archive for July, 2011

52 Condensed Pages of a Collaged Manifesto | Doveglion Press

July 27, 2011

I sent the letter below out to community & the results are this collaged manifesto in 2 parts up here:

Dear lovelies:

You are receiving this invitation because the fabulously and variously talented Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo have asked me to submit a poetics manifesto for Doveglion Press.

(For more on what a manifesto entails, go to: or check out the amazing manifestos of my writing peers)

As I’ve been thinking about what makes up my poetry and creative work, I have always been surrounded by strong community and collaboration, pulling from what’s around me, the work of my peers and also the lineage of artists who have come before.I wanted to write this poetics manifesto using, altering, collaging, sampling remixing the words and fragments of you who are in my life.  If you got this e-mail, perhaps you have collaborated with me in the past, or you belong to one of my communities, or are in the constellation of my life, or I am curious about you.  Whatever it was, your energy surfaced for me in this moment.In pulling from the lineage of artists who have come before, I am following in the footsteps of:

Doug Kearney —
Myung Mi Kim —
Orlando White —
Claudia Rankine —
Cathy Park Hong —
Gloria Anzaldua —
Larissa Lai & Rita Wong —
Noah Purifoy —
Catalina Cariaga —
Layli LongSoldier —
Betye Saar —
Juan Felipe Herrera —
Akilah Oliver —
Kimiko Hahn —
Sharon Bridgforth —
Lily Hoang —
* Check them out if you haven’t before:-)

I am also thinking of Bhanu Kapil’s brilliant book, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers. Over many years, she asked a series of South Asian women she met randomly (on the street, in the airport, in the subway) a series of 12 questions, recorded them in notebooks and then wrote a beautiful hybrid book which “contains words, lines, sentences, fragments, stories, phonemes and images taken from those notebooks.”  This audio clip features Bhanu Kapil talking about the origins of The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers and reading from the project:

So what does this mean for you?  If you would like to participate, please respond with a YES.  I will then send you 12 open-ended questions.  You can answer in whichever way you are moved to — off-the-cuff, improvisationally, in deep meditation, whichever feels right to you.


Queer Border Crossings (NYC), Rev @ Home (Boston, Vancouver, Seattle) & Wingbeats & So To Speak!

July 14, 2011

Dear friends,

It’s been lovely to touch down in summertime Milwaukee & be reminded of the community here & community still being built.  Now, am about to take off on a series of travels to the East Coast and to the West Coast, reading new collaborative work at Asian American Writers’  Workshop & going on tour to launch the Revolution at Home anthology in Boston, Vancouver and Seattle  (more info about events below!) I’ll end up at Millay Colony in August to do a residency before coming back to the Midwest.


Also, excited to receive in the mail recently:

* WINGBEATS: EXERCISES & PRACTICE IN POETRY – Edited by Scott Wiggerman & David Meischen (Dos Gatos Press).  I was introduced to the haibun form by Aimee Nezhukumatathil during a Kundiman retreat and wrote my poem, “Ode to My Hair: a Haibun,” in response to a prompt by my home group leader, the fabulous Joseph O. Legaspi.  This poem is included in Aimee’s chapter, “The Pie Plate: Serving Up a Slice of Travel through the Haibun,” along with fellow Kundis Tamiko Beyer & Sharon Suzuki-Martinez.  Also,  excited to see lots of friends and poets I greatly admire included in the book — Oliver de la Paz, Blas Falconer, Sharon Bridgforth, Harryette Mullen, Afaa Michael Weaver, Tara Betts to name just a few.


* SO TO SPEAK: a feminist journal of language and art’s Fall 2011 edition includes my poems, “American Syntax” and “Sentence Lover’s Letter to Her Girl.”


Thanks for reading!


1) Queer Border Crossings: Ronaldo Wilson, Ching-In Chen, Kit Yan, Rahul Mehta

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 7PM

Even as New York becomes the largest state to legalize same sex marriage, the queer body remains a point of contention in public policy and literature. In writing the queer body, the borders that separate pertain not just to gender and sexuality, but also race and voice, form and genre. In this multi-genre reading, Ronaldo Wilson, Rahul Mehta, Kit Yan, and Ching-In Chen cross borders of both gender and genre. Avant-garde poet Ronaldo Wilson reads from Poems of the Black Object, winner of the Asian American Literary Award–detailing the nitty-gritty of bodily fluids, illicit subcultures, and dream states to critique the objectification of the black queer body. Short story writer Rahul Mehta will take you across continents, uncomfortable family gatherings, and bitter generational rifts to reveal the growing pains of being gay and Indian American in Quarantine. Multi-genre poet Ching-In Chen plays with form and theatrical jazz aesthetics in her latest work. A Hawaiian spoken word artist lost in New York, Kit Yan’s love poems, dirty sex stories, and comedic tales of his childhood are raw, real, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow and part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. She has worked in the San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston Asian American communities. Ching-In currently lives in Milwaukee and is involved in union organizing and direct action against the draconian proposals of Governor Scott Walker. Her work is lauded by veteran poet Juan Felipe Herrera, as Chinese classic poet “Cho Wen-Chün on fire—with a punk mohawk cut.”

Rahul Mehta earned his MFA at Syracuse University and is the author of the short story collection Quarantine (HarperPerennial). Portions of Quarantine, already a runaway success in India, have appeared in New Stories from the South, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, Epoch, NOON, Fourteen Hills and His essays have appeared most recently in OUT Magazine, Marie Claire India, and The Telegraph (Kolkata). Born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, he currently lives in Alfred, New York, and teaches at Alfred University. Quarantine is described as “A rich study of family ties, romantic failings and cultural disconnection told in crisp, clean prose,” (Kirkus).

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books), winner of the 2010 Asian American Literary Awards. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, NYU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, and holds a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. Wilson has won numerous fellowships to include the National Research Council Ford Foundations, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Djerassi, and Yaddo. A co-founder of the Black Took Collective, he currently teaches creative writing, literature, and African American poetics at Mount Holyoke College. Publishers Weekly calls Poems of the Black Object “erotic verse about gay sexuality, demolition jobs directed at racial stereotypes, and plenty of genre-busting, metafictional, forward-looking hybrid forms.”

Kit Yan tells stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York. Through touching love poems, dirty sex accounts, and comedic tales of his childhood–Kit takes you on a journey that is raw, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable. Kit’s work has been taught at universities coast to coast. He spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March, performed on the San Francisco Pride main stage, and is a nationally ranking slam poet. Kit Yan is the first ever and reigning Mr. Transman 2010. “The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together,” (Bitch Magazine).

The event is co-sponsored by Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY).

@The Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor
Between 6th and 7th Avenues
Buzzer 600
open to the public
$5 suggested donation


2) You are warmly invited to attend our next Global Forum co-sponsored by the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW) entitled,

“The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities”

(in conjunction with the launch of the publication of the same title).

For in-depth dialogue for ways in which we can hold ourselves and our community accountable for partner and sexual violence and exploitation as it occurs within our activist of color and immigrant communities and within our social justice organizations.


Friday July 15, 2011 (5:30 – 9:30PM)


Saturday July 16, 2011 (8:30AM – 6:00PM) | Dinner & Open Mic (6:00 – 8:30PM) — Optional

LOCATION: Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111

ADMISSION:  $25 (Early Registration) |  $35 (Regular)

*Please REGISTER online and PAY at the DOOR.*

(No one turned away for lack of funds! Your contribution helps us cover the costs of lunch and dinners, childcare and interpreting. We appreciate your support!)

Please join us for both days to be part of an historic community forum to share, learn from & learn how to break our silences around partner and sexual violence and exploitation. We will draw courage & strength to give voice, create safety and healing in our communities as an integral and necessary part of the social justice work we do.
** Childcare will be provided

** Multilingual Interpreting will be available (Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole)

** Please be mindful that some folks attending may have chemical and fragrance sensitivities. We would appreciate if you could make adjustments accordingly. See link for more info:


If you have any questions, please contact Monique Nguyen (

3) Vancouver launch of Revolution Starts At Home!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7-10 PM


Rhizome Cafe

317 East Broadway

Vancouver, BC
FB event:
Come join us for the long-awaited launch of this beloved book! Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance to read, talk story, answer questions and sign books.

With opening performance by Cynthia Dewi Oka
Come join us for the long-awaited launch of this beloved book! Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance to read, talk story and answer questions and sign books.

With opening performance by Cynthia Dewi Oka


We’d like to acknowledge that this event is taking place on stolen, unceeded Coast Salish territory, and that it is at Indigenous people’s expense that we occupy this land. Community accountability is work that Indigenous communities have been doing outside of and in resistance to systems of state power since before the arrival of colonial settlers and continue to do. We thank the Coast Salish Nation for letting us be on their land.

While the main space is wheelchair accessible
throughout, the washrooms are on the same level and only semi-accessible. There are two gender neutral washrooms, and the larger of the two may accommodate some but not all folks who use electric or manual wheelchairs; the door swings inward, there is minimal clearance once inside, and there
is little space between the toilet and the sink to transfer.

We will have scent-free seating and maintain clear laneways for folks who use wheelchairs and other access devices to get into the event.

Please do not take flash photography so that folks with epilepsy don’t have seizures; please do not wear perfumes, colognes or essential oils so that chemically injured community members can attend. We will have scent free soaps in the washrooms.

The event is FREE!!! We’ll have some bus tickets available.

Rhizome has a delicious menu including the”Lentils are Everything” Stew with french green lentils, potatoes, spinach
and sundried tomatoes in a mint and lemon-scented stew. Pay as you feel for this dish (including nada).

Here’s a detailed access audit of the space:

4) Seattle launch, The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities
Saturday, July 23, 2011
7-10 PM
Location: The Vera Project (on the corner of Warren and Republican in the NW corner Seattle Center, just north of Key Arena, please note we don’t have a numbered street address because we are on Seattle Center) .

Co-Sponsored by the Capacity Project and For Crying Out Loud.
Books sold by Left Bank Books (http://www.leftbankbooks.c​om/)
FB event:
About the book:

“Was/is your abusive partner a high-profile activist? Does your abusive girlfriend’s best friend staff the domestic violence hotline? Have you successfully kicked an abuser out of your group? Did your anti-police brutality group fear retaliation if you went to the cops about another organizer’s assault? Have you found solutions where accountability didn’t mean isolation for either of you? Was the ‘healing circle’ a bunch of bullshit? Is the local trans community so small that you don’t want you or your partner to lose it?

“We wanted to hear about what worked and what didn’t, what survivors and their supporters learned, what they wish folks had done, what they never want to have happen again. We wanted to hear about folks’ experiences confronting abusers, both with cops and courts and with methods outside the criminal justice system.”

— The Revolution Starts at Home collective

Long demanded and urgently needed, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the secret of intimate violence within social justice circles. This watershed collection of stories and strategies tackles the multiple forms of violence encountered right where we live, love, and work for social change — and delves into the nitty-gritty on how we might create safety from abuse without relying on the state. Drawing on over a decade of community accountability work, along with its many hard lessons and unanswered questions, The Revolution Starts at Home offers potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.

For more information:​010/items/87941


The main space is wheelchair accessible throughout. There are two gender neutral and wheelchair accessible bathrooms. There is a lift, parking (Mercer Lot, or Street Parking) and the space is close to transit (Bus Lines 1, 2, 8, 13, 15, 18, 20, 45 & monorail).

We will have scent-free seating and maintain clear laneways for folks who use wheelchairs and other access devices to get into the event.

Please do not take flash photography so that folks with epilepsy don’t have seizures; please do not wear perfumes, colognes or essential oils so that chemically injured community members can attend. We will have scent free soaps in the washrooms.

The event is FREE!!!

More info about childcare and other access coming soon.