Wednesday, May 20, 2015

To Vanessa Place’s naïve white defenders, she has become the face of Charlie Hebdo.  No matter how insignificant the property or word (including, yes, the n word), white people love to demand their right to it if they are feeling denied.  They say it’s a matter of freedom of speech.  They say, are we not allowed to appropriate Gone with the Wind?  Are we not allowed to say what is and what isn’t racist?  We feel restricted! We are being policed! Why can’t we write about race? (And to answer your question, of course you can write about it! As a friend Roger Reeves once said, “You invented it! Write about it!”).  Then they dismiss us as an “outraged mob.” 

How convenient that when a writer of color speaks out, she is often dismissed as being “outraged.”  Implied in that: we are hysterical, reactive, emotional, not capable of nuance and reason. But I also speak with deep frustration that in the wake of Kenny Goldsmith and Vanessa Place’s antics, we are called upon to respond, to react.  I am sick of reacting because yet again, we have been relegated to the role of chorus.  Even if Goldsmith or Place is being put on trial, as their defenders like to accuse us of doing, they are still the center of the drama.

            Because really, are we talking about the gross representations of black servitude in GWTW, or the copyright laws that Place writes of so eloquently in her statement? No. We are talking about them. We are talking about them and free speech.  Goldsmith and Place have perfected the art of the scandal.   As Claudia Rankine and Beth Loffredo said we are most comfortable “talking about race in the language of scandal.  We’re all a little relieved by scandal.  It’s so satisfying, so clear, so easy.”  A scandal is an occasion, that is, it has a convenient time limit. How easy that race can be an occasion for these white conceptual poets! How easy to stir up a weeklong cycle of outrage before they saunter off to the next scandalous issue! We, unfortunately, have to live with it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A new interview up with Diana Khoi Nguyen at Poetry Northwest.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Engine Empire Paperback

ENGINE EMPIRE is now in paperback.

And here are some additional reviews!

Prairie Schooner
The Rumpus
The Aviary
Lana Turner (subscription needed)
Gulf Coast

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Rub

Mores and I collaborated on a digital project for the New Museum's First Look Series.  It's e-chapbook of gifs and haiku that explore shame.  Click "view work" and continue clicking to move to the next page.  (and btw, not exactly safe for work!)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Three more reviews for Engine Empire:

Huffington Post
Chicago Review

Thursday, October 18, 2012

California and Seattle readings


I'm going out West!  Hope to see some of you Bay Area folks.  I'm going to be in the Bay Area from Oct 21-24, then in Santa Cruz the 25th, and finally I'm going to be in Seattle on Oct 26!  Details below:

Oct 21, Sunday 5pm
Reading with Paolo Javier and Cheena Marie Lo
for Small Press Traffic
992 Valenica St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Oct 22, Monday 6PM
UC Davis
Voorhies 126

Oct 24, Wednesday 6PM
Reading with David Lau
University Press Books
UC Berkeley

Oct 25, Thursday 6PM
UC Santa Cruz, 6PM
Humanities Lecture Hall

Oct 26, Friday 7:30
Open Books
2414 North 45th St, Seattle

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Engine Empire reviews

A few other reviews for Engine Empire!

Galatea Resurrects