Archive for the ‘Prose’ Category

local ground(s) Midwest Poetics anthology

November 19, 2014
local ground(s) Midwest Poetics, edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman

local ground(s) Midwest Poetics, edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman

Thanks to Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman for co-editing Local Ground(s)–Midwest Poetics: Selected Prose Verse Wisconsin 2009-2014 (Cowfeather Press) & including my zuihitsu on the Kundiman community as part of it! ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

Here are some snippets from the anthology which I posted during the digital launch party to celebrate the publication earlier tonight:

“… I have always been drawn to the spaces between languages, cultures, countries, emotional and mental states (like waking and sleeping, for example)–the interstitial spaces, and the hybrid or syncretic ones that result when the two merge. For me, this is to embrace the transformation, flux, and becoming that is life.” – Brenda Cardenas in “local ground(s) Midwest Poetics,” edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

“‘I am writing,’ I explain, ‘a poem.’ ‘ Would it help?’ Would it hurt? There are all kinds of arts unfolding spontaneously–not sloppily–here at the Capitol. In the signs by protesters, in the posters. In the display of signage on the walls and hanging from the balconies. In the drumming of the student groups that have loudly led days of chanting. In the costumes of, for instance, a man who dresses up as an Imperial Walker. In the chants. In the bagpipes played by the firefighters who joined the protesters early on, who themselves slept over a few days ago. In the musicians who came with their guitars and cellos and saxophones. In the musicians who come with only their voices when instruments are banned around Day 19. In the knitting and crafting circles that meet at specific times. In the chalkboard at Ian’s, amended daily with a new color for the names of more countries from which donations have come. In the pictures and videos that people create and share on web sites, blogs and Facebook pages. In the little campsites of those who have been here many days, with their home-made quilts and arrangements of stuff to create a place. In the Post-Its that will cover the Capitol doors when they close to Wisconsin’s citizens on Day 28 ….” – Wendy Vardaman, from “The Essay That I Begin Writing While Walking to the Wisconsin Capitol Trying to Discern the Right Question 2/24/11” #‎MidwestPoetics‬

“Some of the places I liked to visit in my imagination were from the stories that my mother told me. She was the first person to tell me that the name of her town, Cuicatlán, meant land of the song in the Mazatec indigenous language.” — Moisés Villavicencio Barras, from an interview conducted by Sarah Busse for local ground(s) ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

“One night a poet from Jakarta prefaced his reading of a poem called ‘Going Home’ by explaining that when he wrote it he had returned home after having been away for ten years. What he didn’t say was he had been in exile because of his political activism, his work for democracy in Indonesia. A haunting line in the poem has lived in my memory as image: a faded and tattered sign bearing his name and the message ‘come home whenever.’ The memory of the poem, the image, the circumstances of the reading, the backstory, etc.–all these now always color my own reading or writing of poems about home places.” – Kimberly Blaeser, interviewed by Wendy Vardaman for “local ground(s)” ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

Troubling the line @ Poetry Project, Imaginary Friend Press chapbook contest, pre-orders for Adrienne & Lambda’s 25 for 25

December 11, 2013

Here’s the news on my end … & keeping warm in a snowy time:-)

1) I’ll be heading to NYC tomorrow to help celebrate Troubling the Line @ Poetry Project

Join us for an evening of poems and poetics by writers from Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, edited by TC Tolbert and Tim Trace Peterson. Featuring: Samuel Ace, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Ching-In Chen, Jaime Shearn Coan, Joy Ladin, Dawn Lundy Martin, Tim Trace Peterson, Trish Salah, Zoe Tuck, Emerson Whitney, and Raymond Foye reading poems by John Wieners. Published in Spring 2013 by Nightboat Books, Troubling the Line is the first-ever anthology of poetry by trans and genderqueer writers.

2) 5 more days to submit to Imaginary Friend Presschapbook contest (for those who are not white & male & straight)!

Imaginary Friend Press’s Chapbook Contest

Submissions will be accepted between September 1, 2013 and December 15, 2013.

The winner will be announced in May. This contest is open to anyone who does not identify as a straight, white male. This exclusion is very purposeful. Imaginary Friend Press wants to promote voices that are often ignored and often dismissed.
If you’re curious if you’re being excluded ask yourself these questions:
Are you white?
Are you male?
Are you straight (heteronormative)?
If you answered yes to all three we wish you the best of luck winning another contest with your manuscript. We would also like to remind you that Imaginary Friend Press reads chapbooks all year round, but we’re sticking with our mission to celebrate new and diverse voices here.

The winning book will be published by Imaginary Friend Press. The author will receive an honorarium of $100 and 25 copies of their book. Imaginary Friend Press may also (and hopes to) select other books for publication.

Imaginary Friend Press editors will read all manuscripts and forward the finalists on to our esteemed readers. They will collectively make the final decision.
This year the final readers are:
Shane McCrae, author of Mule and Blood
Ching-In Chen, author of The Heart’s Traffic
Margaret Bashaar, editor of Hyacinth Girl Press
Noel Pabillo Mariano, contributing writer to
Ayshia Stephenson, author of black hands of a morning calm

To submit the entry fee is $5 for entry or $7 dollars for entry and a copy of the winning book (US addresses only. Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as IFP is informed of publication elsewhere. Multiple submissions are allowed with entry fees for each submission.

Manuscripts must be between 12-20 pages in length. Manuscripts must be paginated, have a table of contents and an acknowledgements section (if poems have been published individually). Manuscripts may have individual poems published, but they should not be published as a whole elsewhere.

Style and theme are open. There should not be any art, photographs, images included in the manuscript.

This is not a first book contest, but authors seeking their first book publication are encouraged to submit. Multi-authored collections are acceptable, but IFP can still only award one honorarium.

Questions? Please email us at Submit to Imaginary Friend Press

3) Sibling Rivalry Press is now taking pre-orders for the debut issue of Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women edited by Valerie Wetlaufer.  Very happy my poems found a home in this inaugural issue alongside poet-friends Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Elizabeth Bradfield, Meg Day & Franciszka Voeltz, amongst others.  Support the poets & Sibling Rivalry Press!

4) 25 for 25: An Anthology of Works by 25 Outstanding Contemporary LGBT Authors And Those They Inspired (Lambda Literary Foundation’s 25th Anniversary collection E-book) is now on sale!

25 for 25 is an anthology of works by some of our community’s leading authors, including Dorothy Allison, Ellen Bass, Alison Bechdel, Ivan E Coyote, Jewelle Gomez, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Alex Sanchez, Sarah Schulman, David Trinidad, Edmund White and many others, with original introductions by emerging writers they’ve influenced, many of whom the Lambda Literary Foundation has had the opportunity to support and nurture during one or more of our annual Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Voices Retreats.  Thanks to Ames Hawkins for including my piece written for Achy Obejas in this anthology.
Happy reading, writing & making fun in the snow!

Collaborative Manifesto Remix!

August 3, 2011

Collaborative Manifesto Remix!

Dear people reading this blog,

Thank you for coming to visit.

Think of this blog entry as a creative invitation to participate in a collaborative writing project that began here and here.

Based on feedback that I’ve received from friends, fellow writers and random blog visitors that more folks want to collaborative and participate in the collaborative manifesto project, I’m excited by the community interactions and the journeys that have arisen.

Yesterday, I arrived at the Millay Colony for the Arts for a month-long writing residency with three other writers, a visual artist and a composer. I’m excited to be creating, walking, dreaming, looking out for other creatures in this place that was the home of the poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. I’d like to commit part of my creative time here to the next phase of this journey. Starting this upcoming Monday morning, August 8, I’ll post an open-ended question or generative prompt inspired by being here or by writing or art-making that has surfaced here on my blog.

If you want to participate, post your writing in response to the question or prompt in the comments section of that blog entry + provide a generative question or prompt for the following day.

Each day until the day I leave Millay (August 25), I’ll post the generative questions or prompt that surface from the previous day’s writing and ask participants to write in response to them. You can answer in whichever way you are moved to — off-the-cuff, improvisationally, in deep meditation, whichever feels right to you. I’ll ask you within your writing response to braid the words of either another participant or writer/artist (other than yourself) in your writing in some way, to honor the collaborative intent of the project, and to credit that other writer/artist by name at the end of your writing (unless that person would rather remain anonymous).

At the end of our time together, I’ll use the writings generated to create a new collage creation to be posted on the blog. I’ll credit you by name as a participant/collaborator at the end of the piece unless you choose to remain anonymous.

If you have questions, curiosities, etc, feel free to e-mail me at chinginchen [at] and ask. Also, if you know of other folks who would be interested in participating, feel free to direct them here, for an explanation of the project.

Avoiding Blizzards

January 21, 2010

Happy new year!

It’s been a busy time, catching up with family, avoiding blizzards & reflecting on lessons learned throughout the year.

I was blessed that my book surfaced on Hyphen Magazine’s 10 Notable Asian American Books of 2009 with some of my favorite authors, including Maiana Minahal and Minal Hajratwala.

Also, in true grassroots style, check out the Women in Letters and Literary Arts wiki list of favorite books by women in 2009.  The list began as a response to Publishers Weekly’s all-male top ten “Best Books of 2009”

This week, I’m guest-blogging this week for the Red Hen Press blog.

I hope your January has been as full as mine!

SundaySalon & Chinky Fonts

February 8, 2009

My poem “Disciple” is in the current issue of SundaySalon’s salonzine at & my piece on “The Origins of the Chinky Font” is in the current issue of Hyphen Magazine (#16, Consumption):