Archive for March, 2017

Houston! “recombinant” reading and book signing

March 18, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017, 2-4p

MicroSpace Houston – 8119 Concho st, Houston, Texas 77036

Ching-In Chen will present a live reading of their newest book ‘recombinant’ along with a Q&A with the author, and a book signing. Copies of the book will be available for $15 (cash), $16.95 + tax (credit).

Donations for the artist and artspace graciously accepted. Concessions available for donation.

Please note: The venue has a few steps at the entryway and is not wheelchair accessible. If you have accessabilty needs please contact us and we will make accommodations. Microspacehouston@gmail.com

About ‘recombinant’:

Can a poetry seek to examine the erasure and reconstruction of a community history? Ching-In Chen’s ‘recombinant’ is a work of material critique, philosophically jarring in its use of syntax, sound, the erasures held in the stillness of its whitespace that again and again mimic a historical registry. Drafting and growing multiple discourses, this text urges the reader to investigate female and genderqueer lineages in the context of labor smuggling and trafficking. Its syntactical utterances create a music that is masterful in these poems’ fractured words and experimental representation of page and praxis. Voices from various communities interact with each other to create what Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan calls an assertion of diasporan realities where multi-directional, heterogeneous modes of representation challenge conventional representation via photographs; newspaper articles; maps; city directories; records of immigration, birth and death; as well as scholarly research and archaeological records. recombinant is a work of insistence, a refusal of erasure, a proof of shared memory through the rewriting and remixing of historical remnant.

Praise for ‘recombinant’:

The sweat of migrants, the starving bodies of impoverished workers, the they-children raised for export, the identification cards of the disobedient bodies with multiple names, the testimonies in interrogation rooms, the manufactured girl-bombs: the historical and linguistic presence, aliveness and residue of ancestral, immigrant lineages…in recombinant these entities are synthesized into brilliantly engineered narratives that chronicle the limits of what can be held at the borders we construct around our various identities, be they bodily, linguistic, national, occupational, familial, commercial….This is an intricate, careful, impression-making, impressive novel of a poem that necessarily exposes the secret testimonies and histories of the worlds among us that our larger world wishes us to never understand or see.

—Daniel Borzutzky

Promising “[n]o memory what I held in my mouth that bright morning,” Ching-In Chen’s recombinant undertakes the difficult work of witnessing without false promises of consolation or recognition. Accumulating and unsettling the cartographic records and rememorabilia of lives lived and lives lost to violence in this land that is always island, recombinant maps histories of Yellow Peril, race riots, and white slavery, the latter as imaginary alibi for the former, and opens out their interlock with and interlocution of anti-Black racisms, slaveries and lynchings and ongoing colonial genocides of Indigenous peoples.

How might a poem diagram destruction? What survives records or doesn’t, leaves traces, ledgers or ghosts’ marginalia? It is a bleak and beautiful summoning, one that discovers/inscribes a world anew in testifying to the destruction of this one.

—Trish Salah

Ching-In Chen’s recombinant is an innovative and powerful collection about genealogy, migration, survival, gender, memory, and ecology. The poems unearth and recombine fragments from museum artifacts, laws, census data, and historical archives with lyric reflections and open-heart composition strategies. By the end, you will feel haunted by the ghosts and ancestors who have continued their journey in the vessel of the poet’s tongue.

—Craig Santos Perez’

About Ching-In Chen:

‘Ching-In Chen is author of ‘The Heart’s Traffic’ (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and ‘recombinant’ (Kelsey Street Press) and co-editor of ‘The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities’ (South End Press, AK Press) and ‘Here is A Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets’ (Achiote Press). A Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and have been a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have also been awarded fellowships from Can Serrat, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Norman Mailer Center and Imagining America. Their work has appeared in ‘The Best American Experimental Writing,’ ‘The &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing,’ and ‘Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.’ A senior editor of ‘The Conversant,’ they have also served on the Woodland Pattern board, Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and as editor-in-chief of cream city review. They are currently an Assistant Professor in Poetry at Sam Houston State University and Poetry Editor of the Texas Review. http://www.chinginchen.com

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Litanies to My Brown Heavenly Body (honoring Mark Aguhar)

March 12, 2017

Mark Aguhar

LAMBDA LITFEST LA 2017 (www.lambdalitfest.org) PRESENTS:
Poetics of Self [Re/De] Construction: Litanies to My Brown Heavenly Body (honoring Mark Aguhar)

In homage to Pilipinx trans, femme artist, Mark Aguhar, Poetics of Self [Re/De] Construction: Litanies to My Brown Heavenly Body, queer writers-of-color in this creative reading and panel will explore how our very bodies become litanies, invocations of our existence, our world-making possibilities as what Parreñas Shimizu calls “sites for imagining alternative realities.”

Curated by: Muriel Leung

Performers:

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and forthcoming spring 2017 from BOA Editions, Ltd. Chen’s work has appeared in two chapbooks and in publications such as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed, and The Best American Poetry. He has received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Saltonstall Foundation. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. For more, visit chenchenwrites.com.

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal is a poet, essayist, and artist born in the borderlands in McAllen, Texas. Her poems have appeared in PBS Newshour, Waxwing, Caketrain, DIAGRAM, DREGINALD, The Feminist Wire, The Western Humanities Review, The Poetry Foundation Harriet Blog, and elsewhere. Most recently, she has served as an editor for the Bettering American Poetry project. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and her book, BEAST MERIDIAN, was a finalist at Nightboat, FuturePoem, Saturnalia, and Willow Books, and is forthcoming from Noemi Press in early 2017. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, and her hometown is Houston, Texas.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017) as well as the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011; AK Press, 2016) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. They have also been awarded fellowships from Can Serrat, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Norman Mailer Center and Imagining America. They serve on the Executive Board of Thinking Its Presence: Race, Advocacy, Solidarity in the Arts as the Director of Membership and Social Media and are a senior editor for The Conversant. Currently, they teach poetry at Sam Houston State University as an Assistant Professor in the English department.www.chinginchen.com

Kazumi Chin is the author of Having a Coke with Godzilla (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). His work has appeared in GlitterMob, HEArt, Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week series, and elsewhere. His blog, GODZILIANA H8S UR COLONIAL BS can be found at kazumichin.wordpress.com. When he grows up, he wants to be Ariana Grande.

Michelle Lin is the author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). Her latest poems can be found in HEArt, Apogee, Powder Keg Magazine, and more. She has taught for the LEAPS summer program, Gluck Fellows Program for the Arts, Young Writer’s Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh. She has performed for Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture, grlhood–redefining the I // here I am, Litquake, and more. A former editor for journals Hot Metal Bridge, B.E. Quarterly, and Mosaic, she currently serves as Poetry Reader for Twelfth House Journal.

Kimberly Alidio wrote After projects the resound (Black Radish, 2016) and solitude being alien (dancing girl press, 2013). She is the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Center for Art and Thought and a poetry fellow of Kundiman and VONA. She received fellowships from Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program and the University of Illinois’s Asian American Studies Program, as well as a doctorate in modern American history from the University of Michigan. A tenure-track dropout and high-school teacher, she hails from Baltimore and lives in East Austin, Texas.

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx/Pin@y poet and artist. Peñaredondo is the author of the chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications) and the book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Regional Poetry Prize, Inlandia Institute). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review and elsewhere. Angela resides in Southern California, drifting between deserts, beaches, lowly cities and socially engineered suburbs.

Nicknamed “small but terrible” by her lola, Melissa R. Sipin was born and raised in Carson, CA. She co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things (Carayan Press 2014) and is Editor-in-Chief of TAYO Literary Magazine. Her work is in Guernica Magazine, Black Warrior Review, and PEN American Center, among others. Her fiction has won Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open and the Washington Square Review’s Flash Fiction Prize, as well as scholarships/fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Poets & Writers Inc., Kundiman, VONA/Voices Writers’ Workshop, Squaw Valley’s Community of Writers, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is hard at work on a novel, is obsessed with yellow mangoes and ordering Chinese delivery when she’s finally found a home. More at: msipin.com

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Now more than ever, our stories matter. Don’t miss #LambdaLitFest Los Angeles, a FREE, weeklong literary festival that celebrates and honors and expands on the rich, diverse tradition of LGBTQ writers and readers in the Southland. Register now: http://bit.ly/2kqiIRi

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