Poetry. Equal parts definition and destruction of language as material, Jennifer Hayashida's A MACHINE WROTE THIS SONG challenges us to examine what constitutes meaningful communication. In Hayashida's first collection of poems, we are invited to experience the loss of translation (between languages, generations, and geographies) with a tender scrupulousness. The speakers in A MACHINE WROTE THIS SONG are hooked on phenomenology in an attempt to understand competing scales of intimacy and violence, continuity and interruption.
A MACHINE WROTE THIS SONG gives us the linguistic tools to examine our reality as an infinite series of connected concepts. Hayashida creates gentle tension by highlighting the synchronicities of experience, for example: motherhood / war, machination / art, memory / strategy, syntax / feeling. Throughout the collection, we are reminded to both revere and question our personal and collective relationship to the histories we embody through our languages: "This poem is / history without geography / You are / Interrupted Fern / This poem is / a dry-docked vessel / We are / a homemade dictionary."
Jennifer Hayashida is a poet, translator, and artist. She was born in Oakland, CA, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden. She earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Her translations from the Swedish include work by Ida Börjel, Athena Farrokhzad, and Fredrik Nyberg, and she is the recipient of awards from organizations such as the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She serves on the board of the Asian American Writers' Workshop.Author City: SEATTLE, WA USA