New translations of Hirato Renkichi are out on Asymptote. Listen to a recording of “Contact” on the website!
yesterday was my birthday and today this poem I wrote about getting older is up at Guernica
“A well constructed fence is the best / thing in the known universe,” says the speaker in “Is That a Country or Just a Place,” the second poem in Wendy Xu’s boisterous and blazing debut full-length collection, You Are Not Dead. These lines seems hilariously ironic given that the speakers of Xu’s poems seem to have never meant a fence they didn’t want to leap over or a line they didn’t want to cross.
Bounding with energy, the poems in You Are Not Dead are like Jehovah’s Witnesses on amphetamines, beating down your door to tell you about The Word. Or a word. Or a whole bunch of words. Or maybe just to throw you a party that celebrates life and everyone’s eventual demise. In “And Then It Was Less Bleak Because We Said So,” we learn that “Today there has been so much talk of things exploding / into other things, so much that we all become curious, that we / all run outside into the hot streets / and hug.” Part of the appeal of Xu’s poems, and one of her strengths as a poet, is her attentiveness to the parts of speech. Her verbs are active, as they “explode” onto the page, and “hug” the reader.”
If you haven’t seen Joshua Ware’s Immersive / Intensive project blog, click the link above to read about and watch his process of creating new, handmade, one-of-a-kind art objects out of recently published books of poems. Wendy Xu’s You Are Not Dead, for example, became Your Dad.
The annual Reverse Fan Mail project is one of our favorite parts of APRIL. The process is simple: one person makes a donation to the festival, then we take their name and send it to one of our favorite small press authors. That author then writes a brand new, never-published piece of writing with…
I’m working on this essay about crying in front of mirrors. Maybe it is more about documenting one’s crying, the ethics of this aesthetic consideration. It is also about nighttime and daytime and the visually impaired.
Heather Christle is writing a whole book about crying right now, and I am so excited to read it.
Do you cry, and subsequently, do you regard yr crying? Have you ever? What was it like?