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How do poets of color come to know what they do about their art and practice? How do they learn from and teach others? For poets of color, what does the relationship of “what one knows” have, with conditions extending but not limited to publishing, mentorship and pedagogy, comradeship and collegiality, friendship, love, and possibility? Is one a real poet if one does not have an MFA? For minority poets not considered part of the mainstream because of the combined effects of their ethnic, class, racial, cultural, linguistic, and other identities, what should change in order to accord them the space and respect they deserve? How best can they discuss with and pass on what they have learned to others?
These and other questions come up so consistently in our daily experience as poets of color. And we hear them from poets of color at various stages of their careers. Out of the desire not only to hear from each other but also to share what we’ve learned—each from our unique as well as bonded experiences of writing as poets of color in this milieu—this anthology project was born.
In this collection, we make no claims of presenting any definitive theoretical or other stance. Neither do we offer these essays as prescriptive of certain ways of thinking of craft or of doing things, although in them is expressed a collective wish—that writers of color find ways to gain strength and visibility without replicating the systems that play the game of divide and conquer and turn us against each other for narrow or self-serving profit. Instead, let there be a steady effort to compile lore and take inventory of strategies, intersections, bridges; to map our histories, to sight possibilities for the future.
We are honored and thankful to have the words of the following poets in this anthology: Mai Der Vang (Foreword), Ching-In Chen, Addie Tsai, Tony Robles, Wendy Gaudin, Ernesto L. Abeytia, Abigail Licad, Tim Seibles, Melissa Coss Aquino, Sasha Pimentel, Jose Angel Araguz, Khadijah Queen, Remica L. Bingham-Risher, Ocean Vuong, Craig Santos Perez, and Kenji Liu.
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|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.36(d)|
About the Author
Sundress Academy for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, NY Summer Writers Institute, and
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. She is a winner of a 2016 AWP Intro Journal Project Award,
and a finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship.
Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world's first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo
Shapcott. Former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey selected her chapbook What is Left of
Wings, I Ask as the 2018 recipient of the Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Poetry Chapbook award. Other works include The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia
Publishing, Montreal, 2018), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (2014 May Swenson
Prize, Utah State University Press), and 12 other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA
Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015. Her website is: www.luisaigloria.com
Table of Contents
Editors’ Introductions - 11
Foreword: Mai Der Vang - 23
How Do You Begin?: Ching-In Chen - 26
I’ll Take What I Can Get: Some Thoughts on Erasure Re: MFA vs. POC: Addie Tsai - 29
Holidays: The Custodial Artist as Writer:Tony Robles - 34
On My Grandmother’s Face: Wendy A. Gaudin - 39
Reflections on Poetry/Reflexiones sobre la poesía: Ernesto L. Abeytia - 48
Destroyed Out of Her the Great Voice: On Writing as a Disabled Filipina American Poet: Abigail Licad - 53
Desperate & Beautiful Noise: Tim Seibles - 61
My Life is Not a Stereotype, Though Sometimes Writing About It Feels That Way: Melissa Coss Aquino - 66
On Reading, and Shame: Sasha Pimentel - 74
Becoming the Weather: Reflections on Poetry as Cultural, Political, and Spiritual Act: José Angel Araguz - 87
A Radical Poetics of Love (A Benjaminian Essay on Invisible Man): Khadijah Queen - 92
Standing in the Shadows of Love: Desire as Obsession: Remica L. Bingham-Risher - 101
Night Walks: On addiction, adolescence, and art making: Ocean Vuong - 109
On Writing from Unincorporated Territory: Craig Santos Perez - 127
The Monstrosity: Notes Towards a Frankenpo: Kenji C. Liu - 134
About the book - 140