John Yau and Albert Mobilio select a few choice titles from the past year.
The first event, “Addressing Prejudices Against Asian Americans During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” features Cathy Park Hong and Anicka Yi, among others.
Hyperallergic staff are all working from home these days and we thought we’d share what we’ve been reading in our private moments offline.
An annotated list of some of Albert Mobilio’s and John Yau’s favorite poetry books published this year.
Engine Empire (2012) is divided into three discrete sections or, perhaps more accurately, three self-sustaining worlds, each with its own invented languages.
In each section Hong utilizes radical forms and devices — a list, an abededarian, a lipogram — to propel her poems out of the lyric torpor so many other poets embrace. The language is volatile, undergoing metamorphosis and extreme pressure. Tremors of discomfort suffuse throughout the music of Hong’s poems.
The argument between lyric poetry (that is poetry that arises from the poet’s voice (the “I”) or what Robert Grenier characterized as “SPEECH”) and text (the primacy of the written or printed word) is becoming an increasingly obsolete opposition. Globalism and immigration (or migration) – in the form of pidgin, mispronunciation, graffiti, and encoded signs – have overrun the various geographical boundaries as well as upended the rules defining areas of fixed vocabulary, grammar and spelling. The English language – particularly in America — is a field in which decay and replenishment are ongoing, unpredictable ruptures.