Penury

Penury

by Myung Mi Kim
     
 

In Penury, Myung Mi Kim probes sanctioned norms of cognition by breaking communication into its most discrete components. With these irruptions and suspensions, she writes into extremes of forced loss, violence, and impoverishment. Exposing latent relations in sound and sense, Kim proposes how new ethical awareness can be encountered where the word and its

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Overview

In Penury, Myung Mi Kim probes sanctioned norms of cognition by breaking communication into its most discrete components. With these irruptions and suspensions, she writes into extremes of forced loss, violence, and impoverishment. Exposing latent relations in sound and sense, Kim proposes how new ethical awareness can be encountered where the word and its meaning/s are formed. Here, language is not offered as transparent communication of ideas, but as testament to and disruption of oppressive dominant concepts and cultural practices. "Penury" means poverty, but in this text's radical relation to lack, we hear the most elemental and active forms of change.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Avant gardist Kim's fifth book is a diligent inquiry into the relationship between language and power."  —Publishers Weekly

"Though [Kim's] work is philosophical in its searches, it's always rooted in the concrete of language . . . It is as if language is philosophical and must abscess to be concrete."  —Globe and Mail

"Extracts the sparest of reactions and reflections to global politics, colonization, immigration and other issues in fragmented form that takes the blank page as a kind of force field for splinters of language and images. The result is gnomic, austere and obliquely intense."  —Memphis Commercial Appeal

"An immensely talented poet, Myung Mi Kim loves language—its internal rhymes, alliterations, and diverse rhythms. Caught off guard by the beauty and precision of Kim's language and the exquisite images she so deftly conjures, we are drawn unwittingly into a web of fragmentary memories that subvert what we think we know about the violent history that haunts her."  —Elaine Kim, author, Asian American Literature: An Introduction to the Writings and Their Social Context

"An immensely talented poet, Myung Mi Kim loves language—its internal rhymes, alliterations, and diverse rhythms. Caught off guard by the beauty and precision of Kim's language and the exquisite images she so deftly conjures, we are drawn unwittingly into a web of fragmentary memories that subvert what we think we know about the violent history that haunts her."  —Erin Moure, poet

"[In Myung Mi Kim's work] historically specific scenes are interwoven with hallucinatory fragments, reminding us of poetry's oldest concerns with destruction, diaspora, and the preservation of the human figure from oblivion."  —Multicultural Review

Publishers Weekly

Avant gardist Kim's fifth book is a diligent inquiry into the relationship between language and power. The poems take place in a wasteland where war and, as the title would suggest, poverty are the norm; immigrants are treated with harsh suspicion and interrogated repeatedly, and Kim's rage at injustice and suffering rings loudly: "[lookout post] / Are these your names/ From we are from where are you from/ Say this may speaking// To burn or expose to the threat of the sun a person with a pigeon chest and protruding stomach." The most fragmentary of these poems, which sprawl inventively across the whole page, can be quite difficult to parse, at times overwhelmingly so; still, a sense of urgent confusion comes to the fore, enriching the book's overall texture. Finally, this is an unsettling, collection that staunchly confronts a point in history "when the fish die all at once and appear on/ the banks all at once." (June)

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Globe and Mail
Though [Kim's] work is philosophical in its searches, it's always rooted in the concrete of language . . . It is as if language is philosophical and must abscess to be concrete.
Multicultural Review
[In Myung Mi Kim's work] historically specific scenes are interwoven with hallucinatory fragments, reminding us of poetry's oldest concerns with destruction, diaspora, and the preservation of the human figure from oblivion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781890650377
Publisher:
Omnidawn Publishing
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are saying about this

Elaine Kim
An immensely talented poet, Myung Mi Kim loves language-its internal rhymes, alliterations, and diverse rhythms. Caught off guard by the beauty and precision of Kim's language and the exquisite images she so deftly conjures, we are drawn unwittingly into a web of fragmentary memories that subvert what we think we know about the violent history that haunts her. (Elaine Kim, author, Asian American Literature: An Introduction to the Writings and Their Social Context)

Meet the Author

MYUNG MI KIM is a Professor of English and a core faculty member of the Poetics Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Kim has also served as Distinguished Visiting Poet at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California, and as Visiting Professor at Oberlin College. Kim was awarded The Multicultural Publisher’s Exchange Award of Merit for Under Flag (Kelsey Street Press, 1991). She also received a fellowship at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, awards from the Fund for Poetry, a Daesan Foundation Translation Grant, and the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity. Myung Mi Kim is the author of Commons (University of California Press, 2002), DURA (Sun & Moon, 1999), The Bounty (Chax Press, 1996, 2000), and Under Flag (Kelsey Street Press, 1991, 1998, and 2008). The anthologies in which her work has appeared include American Poets in the 21st century: The New American Poetics, Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women, Premonitions: Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women and other collections. And, Kim’s collaborations include “Spelt,” with the poet Susan Gevirtz. A collaboration with the poet, visual artist, and translator, Norma Cole, appeared in big bridge #12. The composer John Zorn commissioned her to write a bilingual Korean/English text which can be heard on Zorn’s “New Traditions in East Asian Bar Bands”. Most recently, she completed a commission from the Friends of the University Libraries, State University of New York at Buffalo, for their annual broadside.

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