Poetry. Asian American Studies. With her second volume, Valerie Hsiung proves herself to be a poet of lyric's volatile possibility, detonating poetry's uncertain truce between reader and speaker, the deadly and the inconsequential, the profound and the profane. YOU & ME FOREVER performs a multitude of teetering voices through a multitude of tangency points—between the violence enacted against girl bodies and the violence enacted against earth, between inherited language or mother tongue and made/found language or acquired tongue, between the speaking machine and the transhuman, between the woman as artist and the woman as monster, between the horizontality of plain speech and the verticality of lyric fragments. In response, the reader's role fluctuates from direct addressee to participant, from chorus member to puppet master—all while the dark angel of the circus hovers above like a shadow on the page."A storied, oscillating breath-scape, a wondrous tertium quid, Valerie Hsiung's YOU & ME FOREVER maps a world that moves as simultaneously paradoxical, relational, and permutational. Edged with the epic, speech-based and strange, the writings enact the promise of dreams as they address matters of hauntings and bodies, displacement, and the nature of capital, exile, and art. Here the narrative ripples, achieves both temporal and spatial possibilities, works both boundariness and dissolve. A destabilizing marvel."—Hoa Nguyen"The first time I read Valerie Hsiung's YOU & ME FOREVER, I had a vision of a bonfire in which countless volumes of love-twisted and love-twisting works of literature, including sculptures and films, were reduced to ash, and from the ashes were intuitively yet precisely drawn filaments on which were inscribed prophetic dialogues that voiced the poet’s relationship with the forces that would come to make, and perpetually threaten to unmake, her world. The second time I read YOU & ME FOREVER, there was neither filament nor fire, but an animated frieze, or maybe rainfall or serrated light, of intimate retribution, that is retributive intimacy. I say read, but that is not the word that accurately describes what actually happened."—Brandon Shimoda
author siteExcerpts @ VerseInterview @ Tarpaulin SkyAnahita Safarzadeh @ Angel City Review
Valerie Hsiung is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and the author of several poetry and hybrid writing collections, including THE ONLY NAME WE CAN CALL IT NOW IS NOT ITS ONLY NAME (Counterpath, forthcoming 2023), TO LOVE AN ARTIST (Essay Press, 2022), selected by Renee Gladman for the 2021 Essay Press Book Prize, OUTSIDE VOICES, PLEASE (CSU), selected for the 2019 CSU Open Book Prize, Name Date of Birth Emergency Contact (The Gleaners), YOU & ME FOREVER (Action Books), and E F G (Action Books). Her writing has appeared in print, in flesh, in sound waves, and other forms of particulate matter. Her work has been supported by Foundation for Contemporary Arts, PEN America, Lighthouse Works, and public streets and trails she has walked on and hummed along for years. Born in the Year of the Earth Snake and raised by Chinese-Taiwanese immigrants in Cincinnati, Ohio, she now lives in Colorado where she teaches as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing & Poetics at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa.