For Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. These are the women (prose) authors on self’s 2020 Reading List:

  • Liane Moriarty
  • Diane Gabaldon
  • Edwidge Danticat
  • Mathangi Subramanian
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • Jung Chang
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Sally Rooney
  • Peg Alford Pursell
  • Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Dacia Maraini
  • Shahrnush Parsipoor
  • E. R. Ramzipoor
  • Elizabeth Tallent
  • Sadie Jones

Also: Caroline Kim-Brown’s short story collection, which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, coming this fall: The Prince of Mournful Thoughts. You can read the title story now, in Ms.Aligned Vol. 3.

Women self has read so far 2020:

  • Dodie Smith
  • Katherine Addison
  • Jia Tolentino
  • Kathryn Ferguson

Glass, Cups, Saucers: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Part 2

So fun, being able to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Here’s self’s second post on Glass, Cups, Saucers!

She’s sipping tea from the mugs Pat Matsueda sent to all contributors to Ms.Aligned 3.

Self has a story in the forthcoming volume of Ms. Aligned, edited by Rebecca Thomas. Thanks to Lillian Howan for telling her about the opportunity. So proud to be a part of this collection!

Contributors will read at the Hawai’i Book and Music Festival in November 2020!

Stay tuned.

Poetry Sunday: Alfredo Navarra Salanga (1948-1988)

Anniversary

from the collection One Hundred Love Poems: Love Poetry Since 1905, edited by Gemino H. Abad and Alfred A. Yuson (The University of the Philippines Press)

Why celebrate the day we married
With a poem about your hair?
Perhaps because I’ve always wondered
how it would have been if left uncut:
after ten long years it could have grown
maybe long enough to brush the floor.
But life is very much like hair.
(or should that be the other way around?):
the cutting of it marks beginnings.
We have been blessed, the two of us,
with the resiliency of your hair —
we have always been capable of growth
and of not losing our way

1985

Poetry Thursday: Arundathi Subramaniam

STRATEGIST

from Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry From the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond, edited by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar

The trick to deal
with a body under siege
is to keep things moving,

to be juggler
at the moment
when all the balls are up in the air,
a whirling polka of asteroids and moons,

to be meretrician of the innards,
calibrating the jostle
and squelch of commerce
in those places where blood
meets feeling.

Fear.
Chill in the joints,
primal rheumatism.

Envy.
The marrow igloos
into windowlessness/

Regret.
Time stops in the throat.
A piercing fishbone recollection
of the sea.

Rage.
Old friend.
Ambassador to the world
that I am.

The trick is not to noun
yourself into corners.
Water the plants.
Go for a walk.
Inhabit the verb.


Arundathi Subramaniam’s books include On Cleaning Bookshelves (Allied, 2001) and Where I Live (Allied, 2005). She co-edited Confronting Love (Penguin, 2001), an anthology of contemporary Indian love poems in English.

Poetry Tuesday: Genny Lim

from The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women’s Anthology, edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Margarita Donnelly (Calyx Books, 1989)

CHILDREN ARE COLOR-BLIND

I never painted myself yellow
the way I coloured the sun when I was five.
The way I colored whitefolks with the “flesh” crayola.
Yellow pages adults thumbed through for restaurants,
taxis, airlines, plumbers . . .
The color of summer squash, corn, eggyolk, innocence and tapioca.

My children knew before they were taught.
They envisioned rainbows emblazoned over alleyways;
Clouds floating over hilltops like a freedom shroud.
With hands clasped, time dragged them along and they followed.

Wind-flushed cheeks persimmon,
eyes dilated like dark pearls staring out the backseat windows,
they speed through childhood like greyhounds
into the knot of night, hills fanning out,
an ocean ending at an underpass,
a horizon blunted by lorries, skyscrapers,
vision blurring at the brink of poverty.

Dani, my three-year-old, recites the alphabet from
billboards flashing by like pages of a cartoon flipbook,
where above, carpetbaggers patrol the freeways like
Olympic gods hustling their hi-tech neon gospel,
looking down from the fast lane,
dropping Kool dreams, booze dreams, fancy car dreams,
fast food dreams, sex dreams and no-tomorrow dreams
like eight balls into your easy psychic pocket.

“Only girls with black hair, black eyes can join!”
My eight-year-old was chided at school for excluding a blonde
from her circle. “Only girls with black hair, black eyes
can join!” taunted the little Asian girls, black hair,
black eyes flashing, mirroring, mimicking what they heard
as the message of the medium, the message of the world-at-large:
“Apartheid, segregation, self-determination!
Segregation, apartheid, revolution!”
Like a contrapuntal hymn, like a curse that refrains in
a melody trapped.

Sometimes at night I touch the children when they’re sleeping
and the coolness of my fingers sends shivers through them that
is a foreshadowing, a guilt imparted.

Dani doesn’t paint herself yellow
the way I colored the sun.
The way she dances in its light as I watch from the shadow.
No, she says green is her favorite color.
“It’s the color of life!”

Cleaver Magazine, Issue # 28 (Winter 2020)

Flash by Alex Behr, C├ęsar Valdebenito, Kim Magowan, Tommy Dean, Matthew Greene, Anna Oberg, Savannah Slone, Marianne Villanueva, Mary Senter, Corey Miller, Connor Goodwin, Jude Vivienne Dexter, Francine Witte * Short Stories by Stefani Nellen, Marilee Dahlman, Theo Greenblatt (Trigger warning: sexual assault) * Poetry by Alice Hall, Nathan Lipps, Jeremy Rain * Creative Nonfiction by Keygan Sands and Kharys Ateh Laue * Visual Narrative by Trevor Alixopulos * Art by Nance Van Winckel * Emerging Artists and much, much more!

from A History of Anyway

Intermedia

by Nance Van Winckel

Sad lad of the far north, you with no means and no true lassie, with no way home and no home anyway

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Self Answered The Call

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And the results are out now.

Read. Read. Read.

Thank you forever, Lillian Howan, for soliciting a piece.

 

 

Two Pieces Out, One Upcoming

Self is in the issue of Jellyfish Review curated by Grace Loh Prasad: SIGN. The pieces are so delicious and fun. All are really different, showing what self has always known: FLASH RULES. Grace’s opening essay is kick-ass.

(BTW: Seventeen Syllables will be reading at San Francisco LITCRAWL, 19 October, 6:30 – 7:30, at FELLOW, 820 Valencia Street, on the theme: Strangers and Ghosts! These readings are always SRO. Be sure and COME EARLY!!!)

Another story, Tu-an Ju (dystopian science fiction), just came out in Vice-Versa, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s e-zine. The theme for the issue was Otherworld/Underworld, a theme self felt could have been tailor-made just for her. Thank you to Pat Matsueda, Lillian Howan and Angela Nishimoto for putting this issue together.

And vol. 3 of msaligned is coming soon! Thanks again to Lillian Howan for soliciting a piece specifically for this volume, and Pat Matsueda for editing the series.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Featured in Jellyfish Review: Flash by Seventeen Syllables

Grace Loh Prasad curated, Roy Kamada’s Grey Matter has just posted.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

More goodness — from Caroline Kim Brown and Grace herself — to follow.

Grace’s introductory essay, here.

70736323_2416280168441851_7635444407579181056_n.jpg

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SIGN: Flash Stories by the members of Seventeen Syllables, curated by Grace Loh Prasad for Jellyfish Review

From the Introduction by Grace Loh Prasad:

A hand or patch over one eye. A rainbow flag. A kneeling athlete. An eggplant emoji. A thumb pointing down.

What do these have in common? They are all symbols, representing something more than what is literally pictured. A symbol is a kind of sign — at its simplest, a unit of meaning. Whether they’re labels for places or ideas, indicators of prestige or health, or warnings of what’s ahead, signs operate at a level deeper than language. A sign is like a boat, but instead of water it navigates through meaning, through a shared set of references within a community.

Read the rest of the introduction, here.

Stay tuned.

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