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“Brenda Iijima’s DAILY LIFE IN CHINA teleports transhistorical personae together in a polyphonic masquerade. Free verse and one-liners shuffle together in a dreamy dialogue. Or as one character puts it, 'Meanings multiply when I cling to hope’s slippery surface.' Very strange bedfellows are made in a process Iijima describes as using 'kaleidoscopic time as a tool of feminist revision inside history’s contingencies.' Through this exquisite threading, Dickinson, Vidal, and Mao’s ex-wives suddenly make sense as correspondents. Other ghosts and holograms creep in and out, including Mata Hari and a pair of talking oranges—all housed by an artist’s colony-prison caught in Buñuelian limbo. The theater of it all is underwritten by a keen sense of allegory as a way to both picture the corruptions of the present and to imagine otherwise. DAILY LIFE IN CHINA reminds us of the capacious capacity of Poets Theater to reset and rethink the horizons of history and literature.” —Felix Bernstein
Brenda Iijima is a poet, novelist, playwright, choreographer, and visual artist. She is the author of nine books of poetry. Her involvements occur at the intersections and mutations of genre, mode, receptivity, and field of study. Her current work engages submerged and occluded histories, other- than-human modes of expression and telluric awareness in all forms. Iijima is the founding editor-publisher of Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs. She lives in Brooklyn.