Waiting for the Blurbarians

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Home Remedies is a salve made from organic rhythms and forms mixed with locally sourced images, characters, and voices from Hawaiʻi and the Philippines. As if by poetic magic, Amalia Bueno transforms coconut oil, paper seeds, and 500 lumpia into healing prayers. Apply these poems generously, dear reader, because they have the power to soothe our displaced, migratory, aging, forgotten, and incarcerated bodies.

—Craig Santos Perez, author, from unincorporated territory [guma’]

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The Disordered, an impressive first book, awakens the haunted mind. In these hymns, songs, and mirrors, we learn that the ‘I’ is ‘us’ and memory is ‘burnt to the bone.’”
—Craig Santos Perez

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Lehua Taitano’s unforgettable poetry joins a new wave of Chamorro and Pacific literature. In A Bell Made of Stones, she bravely navigates the currents of mixed-race indigenous identity, transoceanic migration, and queer sexuality through a series of experimental (and lyrical) typographic poems. With the typewriter as her canoe, Taitano chants homeward “for the flightless, to stretch roots, for the husk of things set adrift.”

—Craig Santos Perez, author of from Unincorporated Territory [hacha] and from Unincorporated Territory [saina]

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“Kaia Sand’s Remember To Wave maps the temporal palimpsests and traumatic political history of Portland, Oregon. Sand writes the seen and unseen city in the spirit of William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, Charles Olson’s Gloucester, or Barbara Jane Reyes’ San Francisco. She reads the geography of Portland for its displacements, exclusions, migrations, disappearances, ruins, and hauntings. Sand asks: “Do we need our ruins visible?” The answer resonates throughout Remember to Wave as poetry creates a deeply felt awareness of past and present injustices. In this profound and threaded mapping, Sand composes “an ode of accretion”—a song of our ruins rendered visible.”
—Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory

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Monks, nuns, crows, saints, mimes, phantom fire-eaters, dogs, and “selves without a string” dance through the surreal pastoral of a postmodern world. Human and other animate bodies eat, scatter, dream, reflect, and sing in a fugue of fragmented voices. In this memorable collection, Mary Kasimor enacts an “image drama” and “performance burlesque” across every poetic line, surprising the reader with a new “species of FORM.” Watch your step because The Landfill Dancers will take you where the wild is always open.

—Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory

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Just as coconut leaves are used to weave baskets, fans, and mats, McMullin weaves multiple languages and poetic forms to address themes of migration, gender, colonialism, and sexuality. At its sacred center lies the rich meat: the “faʻafafine,” an identity within Samoan culture that McMullin shows is much more complex, intimate, erotic, humorous, and natural, than simply “gay.” Throughout, the unfolding waves of words press and sieve the coconut meat into milk and oil, which nourish the Pacific body and give it a “faʻafafine shine.” When you open the shell of this book and drink from its mouth, you will be kissing the eel. You will be kissing “the sea filled with rainbows.”

–Craig Santos Perez

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While the Philippine Reservation of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis displayed Filipino bodies and customs for an American audience, Aimee Suzara’s provocative poetry flips the script to question the ethics of the imperial gaze. Juxtaposing the “savage circus” of the exposition with her own contemporary migrations, she paints an intimate portrait of her own family’s experience with all-American landscapes, foods, movies, music, dreams and disappointments. As you read this book, something “tells you to stop looking, / but you are spun: sutured / to your subject.” By engaging with a variety of archival material and a range of poetic modes (lyric, narrative, documentary, collage), the poet keeps our attention on the voices, objects, possessions, souvenirs, and memories that we hold onto. In the end, the poet asks herself, her ancestors, and even us: “What do you brace, so as not to break.”

–Craig Santos Perez

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This collection arrives below the 38th parallel, crosses transnational distances, and dwells within the traumatic and triumphant experience of women as exiles and against empire. Choi translates feminist politics into an experimental poetry that demilitarizes, deconstructs and decolonizes any master narrative. –Craig Santos Perez

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