"The history of English is inextricably tied to the history of war, to the history of empire; they cannot be separated. And hence our literature cannot be separated from these histories. Language is one of the most powerful weapons of war. It is also one of the war's first victims."
Our stay at Mile Post 5 has been a phenomenal experience. We have enjoyed having a large space to ourselves in which we’ve been able to not only exhibit the entire (and continually expanding) collection of books, but create a space where we’ve hosted readings, offered writing workshops, provided room for meetings, and enabled writers and artists of color to interact with each other, as well as the local community. Here’s an overview of what' we’ve done this summer.
Summer is dwindling, the air is forest-fire smoke-hazy, the country's news cycle continues to exhaust and infuriate, and we here continue to believe in the (both) urgent and timeless need for books, art, reading, poetry, sharing, and for representation, and spaces that allow us respite - yet through continuing and thoughtful engagement - from/with the chaotic rest of the world. As I write this now, it is an August afternoon and I am sitting in the quiet of our library…
Thanks to the generosity of Artists Milepost, we'll be in residency there from mid May to late July. Our opening event will be on May 12 at 6pm. Through these three months, the exhibit space will be open as a reading library, workspace, and venue for 4 days a week, with the occasional weekend events. We are expanding our archive and hope to have over 500 books available for visitors to read.
This is a conversation interview conducted by Dao Strom, new editor of diaCRITICS, with Viet Thanh Nguyen, author, founder and publisher of diaCRITICS. Read more about what Nguyen has to say about diaspora, identity, and the unique "double burden" of making art as a "minority" person amid or between "majority" cultures.
...I’m of the belief that anything a Vietnamese artist does is inherently Vietnamese, but is also something else–that it can be and should be universal too. The challenge for us is that, as minorities, we always labor under the double burden of our specificity while attempting to prove our universality.
Although De-Canon does not have a formal presence at AWP this year (that is, we didn't invest in a table), we will still have a presence of sorts. If you'd like to chat about the project, discuss past or future post topics for the blog, or want to learn more about how to have your own books included in the archive, stop by Table 1136 in the bookfair to find Neil who is representing Boxcar Poetry Review & Have Book Will Travel.
In this post, we survey the landscape of literary journals and provide a listing of currently operating journals which are helmed by POC editors. In total, we found __ literary journals whose mastheads list a writer of color as their editor-in-chief. Many also feature additional associate editors and staff members who are also POC. Some of these journals have been around since the 70s, but many are newer online journals, having come into existence in the last 5 years.
If we hope to truly challenge or reimagine literary canon, it is not enough to consider the academic programs where young writers are taught and trained. We must look beyond the classroom and the professoriate, past endless reams of syllabi making and remaking what constitutes canon, and consider the practical matter of how these texts enter the field in the first place. In this post, we present a list of POC-helmed presses that are currently in operation.
Although the field of literary publishing is still primarily populated by white editors and publishers, there are some POC-owned and directed publishers and a number of new and well-established poetry book prizes that are judged by respected POC authors and which seek to champion work of writers from particular communities of color. If you're a POC poet with a book manuscript in need of a home, here's a list of upcoming contests you might want to try
Over the past week and a half, we've been gathering images of POC writers and their libraries, as well as asking readers and writers of color to contribute their thoughts on the importance of building a personal library and how books by other POC writers have impacted their lives.
This post showcases responses from and glimpses into the libraries of Kazim Ali, Francisco Aragón, Jackson Bliss, Genève Chao, Shu-Ling Chua, Oliver de la Paz, M. Evelina Galang, Nathania Gilson, Jenna Le, Gemma Mahadeo, Meera (@ashmeera101), and Brian W. Parker.