Poetry. Pacific Studies. California Interest. Asian & Asian American Studies. The polylingual works in A TRANSPACIFIC POETICS conceive ocean as consequence, map, identity, visibility, invisibility, and the embodiment of cultural imaginaries layered over by histories of colonization in the globalized present. This collection of poetry, essays, and poetics is committed to transcultural experimental witness in both hemispheres of the Pacific and Oceania. Each piece is a unique intervention that considers the possibilities of meaning in and of the Pacific, the contentious prefix "trans-," and the intersections between place, politics, and language. What is the work of poetics in the midst of language in crisis, under continuous threat of being emptied out of meaning? How do we shape discourses of rights and equality that work against and through destructive fragmentations and fruitful internal differences when we consider "trans" in terms of water, land, borders, the body, and the state?
"A TRANSPACIFIC POETICS beautifully inscribes what the Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite would call 'tidalectics' by following multiple voice waves across the region and by capturing their registers in an astounding range of genres. A collection of poetry and prose that includes entries such as memory cards, lists and palimpsests, counting journals, scripts, the necropastoral, and critical essays, readers will follow the rhythms of translation and the transcultural, where wavescrashwavescrashwavescrash."—Elizabeth Deloughrey
"Like the ancient Carolinian (Micronesian) seafaring technique of etak, of 'moving islands,' which permits employment, of finding one's place, by dint of three moving reference islands (or reefs) A TRANSPACIFIC POETICS triangulates the tensions between the routes of itinerant identities and their deep cultural rootedness to specific archipelagic homelands with what is referred to as the 'tactiles' of 'distributed centers.' The result or outcome is a collection of substantive and therefore compelling testimonies to how cultural depth is accomplished through purposive and considered geographic reach and vice versa, how cultural reach across one's horizon can indicate the geographic depth of one's ancestral homelands and traditions."—Vincente M. Diaz
"A TRANSPACIFIC POETICS brings both the 'trans-' and the 'Pacific' back into a freshened and freed up para-scholarly poetics that goes on conjugating place, language, nation, form, and self into a strange new transcultural mix. The effect is that of opening up a multiplied belonging to contemporary Oceania that is at once creatural and ecological, defamiliarizing, wary, unsettled, far-flung, near. Mixing poetry and poetics, the works are activating, dismantling, criss-crossing transpacific spaces and local mores like balikbayan boxes via writings that cross border and boundaries into mongrel zones of sustained transpacific experiment. Herein, Hawai'i, Guam, the Philippines, Chile, Australia, Korea, Aotearoa, Thailand, Japan, and California are made to connect, fracture, decompose, multiply and undo prior or more settled national frames, enacting an uncanny 'transpacific poetics' from Australasia into the Americas."—Rob Sean Wilson
"Susan Schultz's "memory cards" shuffle places, wars, codes, as "liminal places take time;" Eileen Tabios plays haiku mongrelization games across languages and forms; Ya-Wen Ho's concatenated, superimposed lists undo Taiwanese identity; Myung Mi Kim's diasporic algebras of Korea/US history interface with Barbara Jane Reyes's multilingual San Francisco of entangled diasporas coming and going; Santos Perez makes a 'militarized ars poetica,' wherein fatal impacts (the military) meet oceanic compacts (the environment). The result is something that calls out for contemporary poetic and scholarly reckoning."—Rob Sean Wilson
Robyn Maree Pickens @ Jacket2Mia Ayumi Malhotra @ Hyphen MagazineOwen Bullock @ Cordite Poetry Review
Lisa Samuels is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, with recent experiments in memoir ANTI M (2013) and the novel Tender Girl (2015). Her poetry is in anthologies such as Out of Everywhere 2 (2015) and has inspired scholarly work and musical scores internationally. Her recent critical essays include Over Hear: six types of poetry experiment in Aotearoa/New Zealand (2015) and her current projects are Symphony for Human Transport (poetry), The Long White Cloud of Unknowing (prose), Imagining what we don't know (essays), and continuing experiments in soundwork. A transcultural writer, Lisa teaches at the University of Auckland in Aotearoa/New Zealand.Sawako Nakayasu was born in Japan and has lived mostly in the US since the age of six. Her most recent books are The Ants (Les Figues Press, 2014), and TEXTURE NOTES (Letter Machine, 2010). Her recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika (Canarium Books, 2015), and Tatsumi Hijikata's Costume en Face (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015). Other books include HURRY HOME HONEY (Burning Deck, 2009), and Mouth: Eats Color—Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals, which is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. Her translation of Takashi Hiraide's For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut (New Directions, 2008) received the 2009 Best Translated Book Award from Three Percent. She has received fellowships from the NEA and PEN, and her own work has been translated into Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese.Author City: USA