Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

Birds’ Nests and Refuge: Impermanent Homes in Austin (EAST Show) Nov 11-18, 2017

November 11, 2017

Austin friendlies! Some of my poetry has been made into broadsides as part of ‘Birds’ Nests and Refuge: Impermanent Homes’ featuring Photographs by Sharon Beals & Literature on (Im)migration by Chaitali SenDena AfrasiabiMaria Reva, writers from Youth Rise Texas & me! This & next weekend, Saturday & Sunday, 11a-6pm, Prizer Arts & Letters, 2023 e. cesar chavez, austin! as part of the East Austin Studio Tour on Nov 11-18! Thanks to Abe Louise Young for organizing!

Birds’ Nests and Refuge: Impermanent Homes (EAST Show)

https://www.facebook.com/events/126272001421468/

See international photographer Sharon Beals’ stunning photographs of birds’ nests and nests created by humans out of beach plastic–alongside moving prose and poetry by literary writers on the themes of immigration and migration: Chaitali SenChing-In ChenDena Afrasiabi and Maria Reva.

What are our human nests in a time of global change?

Play with found materials in our Creativity Room (shredded paper, feathers, buttons, fabric and more) to create a nest of your own.

Light refreshments and beverages served, open to all.

BIOS

Sharon Beals is a San Francisco Bay Area-based photographer concerned with the environment and natural habitat. She is the author of *Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them* (Chronicle Books, Spring 2011).

Chaitali Sen is the author of The Pathless Sky, published by Europa Editions in 2015. Born in India and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and stepson. FullSizeRender-4 copyHer short stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, Catapult, Brooklyn Magazine, The Aerogram, Los Angeles Review of Books, and other journals. She is a graduate of the Hunter College MFA program in Fiction.
www.chaitalisen.com

Dena Afrasiabi’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Toast, Fiction Southeast, JMWW and the anthology Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers (University of Arkansas Press). Her work has received fellowship support from the Millay Colony, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. She’s also the co-founding editor of the journal Elsewhere Lit.
https://twitter.com/AfrasiabiDena

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017).They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow and a member of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundations writing communities. Chen is also 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). 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. They are a senior editor of The Conversant and poetry editor of the Texas Review. They currently teach creative writing at Sam Houston State University. www.chinginchen.com

Maria Reva was born in Ukraine and grew up in Vancouver, BC. Her stories have appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic and The New Quarterly, and have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories 29 and The Best American Short Stories 2017. She is a fiction fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, where she is at work on a linked story collection set in Soviet Ukraine.
www.mariareva.ca

Advertisements

Houston-Based Feminist Poetics: National Women’s Conference, Nov 7, 2-3:30p

November 7, 2017

Houston-Based Feminist Poetics: National Women’s Conference, Nov 7, 2-3:30p

Bayou City Rm 219, Student Center South @ University of Houston

https://www.facebook.com/events/146587129303753/

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION:
To provide a chemical and fragrance free event, we request that participants not smoke before or during the event and to not wear colognes, perfumes or other scented or chemical products to the event. Please read at the bottom for handicap accessibility information.

Roundtable-Reading on Houston-Based Feminist Poetics with Ching-In Chen, Jasminne Mendez, Deborah (D.E.E.P.) Mouton, and Leslie Contreras Schwartz

In 1977, the year the IWY National Women’s Conference converged in Houston, Audre Lorde published her seminal essay “Poetry Is Not a Luxury,” in which she posits that poetry “forms the quality of light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.” For Lorde, poems are the precursor to activism, “the spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas.”

Forty year later, Houston is a uniquely fertile city for cross-pollination and conversation, especially in the arts and humanities, and particularly in our vibrant poetry communities. While painstaking progress has been made, the welfare of Texas women, nonbinary, and trans citizens are threatened by ongoing political tensions about “bathroom bills,” title IX, immigration, insurance, government grants, higher education curricula, and a dearth of diversity in the current federal administration.

This roundtable-reading reimagines the definition of civic engagement, establishing a place for the arts as a vital conduit for progressive policy, as imagined by Lorde. We’ll explore poetry’s thorny relationship with representation. To what extent does Houston’s position as a rapidly-developing Sunbelt city stand as a microcosm of problems of women, nonbinary, and trans citizens from around the world?

We’ll also discuss how women, nonbinary, and trans poets create long-lasting community. Which outreach strategies of outreach and organization are replicable in other cities? How are poets, both inside and outside the academy, perceived by society? How do they contribute to cross-cultural interactions that reconfigure the way people make meaning of the world?

Poets and activists Ching-In Chen, Jasminne Mendez, Deborah (D.E.E.P.) Mouton, and Leslie Contreras Schwartz exemplify “the spirit of Houston.” They produce literature with insight on several “planks” from the 1977 Women’s Conference–touching on topics such as domestic violence, disability and healthcare, gender expression, financial inequality, infertility and reproductive freedom–with a contemporary perspective on political regression and reaction, “survival and change.” In their poetry and poetics, these writers carry the torch of the landmark Women’s Conference in Houston, and shed new light on its complicated legacy.

ACCESSIBILITY:
An accessiblity ramp is located at the front entrance of Student Center South by the stairs. An elevator is located on the left after you enter the sliding doors. Nearest handicapped parking is across the street near Hilton or at the corner of Calhoun and University.

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

Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism, May 22-May 24 (Winnipeg)

May 21, 2014

Excited to be heading to winnipeg for Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism, Thursday, May 22 through Saturday, May 24!

 

Lots of keynotes, plenary panels, readings & other workshops that I’m looking forward to – you can check http://www.writingtransgenres.com/ for the full schedule. Also, https://www.facebook.com/writingtransgenres

 

Thanks Trish Salah, Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Owen Campbell and Athena Thiessen for organizing!

 

Here’s where I’ll be presenting during the conference:

 

Thursday, May 22:

 

4:30-6pm Fucking Gender, Fucking Form – Rm 2M70, Eckhardt-Grammate Hall @ University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, w/Ames Hawkins, Ching-In Chen, Emerson Whitney, K. Bradford

 

As trans and genderqueer writers, we inhabit our bodies, our communities, and our art forms marked and motivated by the contours and contexts of our gender. Our individual blueprints and proclivities — fluxes in desire, ruptures of trauma, morphings of body, configurations of race & class — infuse and drive our textual inventiveness. What we do to the sentence, what we do to the forms of writing on the page — and how we test the borders of the page itself — are 3 of gender fucking. We fuck the very forms we work in, as a creative and intellectual practice, and as part of what we do as gender variant people inhabiting the world. As we do and re-do our gender, we do and re-do the poetics and forms we step into as writers, carving out cultural space.

 

This panel will be a lively and layered event. We will engage each other in a series of questions about the acts of troubling form and aesthetics as connected to gender, looking at risks, experiments and failures; we will explore the lineage of writers we have been influenced by, then looking at examples of writing as we discuss the possibilities of language, image systems, voice and form via an aesthetics of gender variance. A lively dialogue with the audience will follow.

 

Friday, May 23:

 

3-5:30pm Group Reading at the Millennium Library, 251 Donald St, Winnipeg w/Aiyanna Maracle, Amir Rabiyah, Casey Plett, Ching-In Chen, Imogen Binnie, Joy Ladin, Mirha-Soleil Ross, Nathanaël, Rachel Pollack, Trace Peterson

 

free and open to the public!

 

 

Saturday, May 24:

6:30pm-8pm Plenary Panel: Identity and Poetics Across Genres – Eckhardt-Grammate Hall @ University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave

 

free and open to the public, w/ASL interpretation

 

Panelists: Ching-In Chen, Max Wolf Valerio, Micha Cárdenas, Samuel Ace, Trace Peterson

Midwest Monster (Input 2)

February 19, 2014

You guys know about vampires?  You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror?  There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror.  And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror.  It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.

—Junot Diaz

(via Freesia McKee, found quoted on the blog Black Girl Dangerous)

Midwest Monster (Input 1)

February 18, 2014

“How unusual bodies are treated is a critical historical question. In the United States they have been marked as ‘other,’ as monstrous, sinister, threatening, inferior, and unfortunate.  Once it was respectable to call those with unusual physical forms monsters, later not.” – Elizabeth Reis, Bodies in Doubt: an American History of Intersex

midwestern creative monster invitation

February 17, 2014

dear midwestern creatives (aka monsterlies):

this is a creative invitation

ever since i moved to the midwest (milwaukee), i have felt a variation of monster-ly


i have been thinking about the idea of a monster poetics, a poetry which smuggles/celebrates/straddles the border of what is human, creature, cyborg, queer, immigrant, monster, beast, future against the idea of the (nostalgic, historic, pastoral) midwest

if a monster is a legendary animal

if a monster is both animal and human and various

if a monster is a strange creature of such power to make others quake

if a monster is a deviant (in shape, behavior or character)

if a monster stimulates and undermines huge terror

then what does it mean for me/we to monster ourselves and each other?

starting today for the next month, i will post inputs (found or gathered) here to be re-mixed, collaged, re-spun, re-textured, for the sake of provocation and response

this is an open invitation to engage by contributing inputs (words, images, texts, audios and others) to be remixed/collaged/re-spun/re-textured and to be responded to

you can send me creations already made and/or in response by replying in the comments section of the blog post

i will continually make and re-mix the materials, using and recycling these inputs and, of course, post credit to all who participate and contribute, sometimes for public performance and/or possible publication

if you participate, you should feel free to do the same (as long as all who want to are credited appropriately)

this work is created in homage to Bhanu Kapil (Incubation: a Space for Monsters) and Sharon Bridgforth (River See)

thanks for reading & considering!

ching-in

APIA poetry blog up @ Best American Poetry blog: Milwaukee’s Pacific Heritage + Reading Across the Acronym

May 22, 2012

My contribution to this week’s APIA poetry blogs, Milwaukee’s Pacific Heritage, curated by Kenji C. Liu (Writer) up at the Best American Poetry blog!

Also, if you missed it, please check out Craig Santos Perez’s blog yesterday on “Reading Across the Acronym:” ‘To me, “collaboration against Empire within the arts” is exactly what we need to build an APIA literary coalition to confront the continuous ravages of empire that are destroying our homelands and peoples and futures.’

I look forward to the rest of the week!

Kundiman @ MA Poetry Festival, Couplets Multi-Blog Poetry Tour & Riverside Chinatown poems in New Sound

April 21, 2012

Dear friendlies,

 

***

 

This weekend, I’ll be back home in Massachusetts to attend the Massachusetts Poetry Festival with the Kundiman poets for:

 

Ritual & the Supernatural: the Aura of Poetry-Writing

Sat, April 21, 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Peabody Essex Museum, Bartlett Gallery

 

Featuring Tamiko Beyer, Ching-In Chen, Joseph O. Legaspi, Bushra Rehman, R.A. Villanueva

 

Walter Benjamin explains that “the earliest arts works originated in the service of a ritual—first the magical, then the religious kind. It is significant that the existence of the work of art with reference to its aura is never entirely separated from its ritual function.” A group of Kundiman poets will explore the “aura” of artworks by examining how they engage ritual and extend into the realms of mysticism and religion. With its witch trial and supernatural history, the town of Salem serves as a compelling source from which to investigate the relationship between art and ritual and, in particular, how rituals like art-making and poem-writing activate magic and the spirit. We will delve into the art collections at the Peabody Essex Museum, and consider how various works embody aspects of the mystical, mythical, and ceremonial. In particular, Asian American poets have historically mined the supernatural to ex plore otherness and invisibility. In our dynamic and creative reading of the museum’s artworks, we aim to create a dialogue between two divergent cultures of ghosts, marrying an Asian American voice to voices of Salem. Our exploration will thus culminate in the writing and presentation of ekphrasis, a poetic form that responds to and interacts with other art forms. Ekphrasis is often rooted in wonder, and we hope to interrogate wonder as it can be expressed in faith, culture, and superstition, and as it illuminates the parallels between art-making and human rituals.

 

http://masspoetry2012.crowdvine.com/talks/25481

 

***

This month, in honor of National Poetry Month, I’m participating in Couplets, a multi-author poetry blog tour organized by Joanne Merriam and Upper Rubber Boot Books. Earlier this week, fellow poet Mary Alexandra Agner hosted me for a guest blog on poetry of the queer, which you can read here: http://www.pantoum.org/entries/2012/04/11.shtml

 

There are lots of other great posts from a wide range of poets including old friends Neil Aitken, Bryan Thao Worra and Jericho Brown. Find the full schedule here: http://www.upperrubberboot.com/couplets-a-multi-author-poetry-blog-tour/

 

***

 

Received the new issue of The New Sound, a Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature, in the mail! Thanks to Randall Horton for including my Riverside Chinatown poems – “Chinese Workers at USDA Lab, 1904” and “Parable of the Shiny City” – in the issue.

 

http://www.facebook.com/TheNewSoundJournal for more information about the journal

 

Will see you again in a few days to host poet Celia Lisset Alvarez for Couplets!

New poems in Revolutionesque! + Black Warrior Review, also Glitter Tongue coming up!

February 12, 2012

Dear poem-lovers,

New homes for some long-marinating poems of mine:

  1. “To Make Black Paper Sing” — a long series inspired by Mark Bradford’s work — is up in Revolutionesque, the 3rd issue of Esque, co-edited by Amy King & Ana Bozicevic! Happy to be amongst 108 other poets including friends & admired poets like Nikki Wallschlaeger, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Kimberly Alidio, Evie Shockley, Emily Kendal Frey & Cara Benson.
  2. Just received my contributor’s copy of the Black Warrior Review Spring/Summer 2012 issue! Thanks to poetry editor & fellow Grinder AB Gorham for including “Gestations: Pathology, Or Prankster of Memory” & “Island Where These Things Happen”
  3. Lastly, excited about Glitter Tongue, a collection of queer love poems that grew out of a collaborative writing effort among queer-poet-friends (Margaret Rhee, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Tamiko Beyer, Oliver Bendorf, Meg Day) & then expanded to community! It’s our anti-Hallmark version of queer love & will be revealed on V-day! 

Love love!

Ching-In