When fingers around the world pointed at China for not containing the coronavirus, Asians everywhere – including many Asian Americans – felt the sting. Cathy Park Hong, poetry editor of the New Republic and a professor at Rutgers-Newark University, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the stereotypes, suspicions, successes, and fears wrapped up in her identity, which she recounts in her new essay collection “Minor Feelings: An Asian-American Reckoning.”
Kirkus’ editors lead this episode with an acknowledgement of the COVID-19 pandemic and special segment on quarantine reading. Host Megan Labrise welcomes poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (One World, March 3), “a fierce and timely meditation” on her lived experience as a Korean American woman and artist. Then our editors rejoin with their weekly reading recommendations, including books by Brandy Colbert, Ashley Woodfolk, Ross Gay, and Lily King.
Rachel Zucker speaks with Cathy Park Hong, author of three books of poetry, professor at Sarah Lawrence, and recipient of the NEA, NYFA and Fulbright fellowships. They discuss how motherhood can change one’s poetic aesthetic, the limitations of poetry and prose, the intersections of poetry and politics, and the new phenomenon of “viral poems.” Cathy Park Hong shares her thoughts on why she uses persona and shifting pronouns in her poetry, and how writing nonfiction allows her to be more personal. Their conversation explores both poets’ optimism about and frustration with poetry.EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
EXTRA RESOURCES FOR EPISODE 7Cathy Park Hong’s books:Translating Mo’Um (Hanging Loose Press, 2002)Dance Dance Revolution (W.W. Norton, 2008)Engine Empire (W.W. Norton, 2013)She also appeared in the Gurlesque anthology.Here’s a video of her reading her poem “Get Away From it All”Other writing by Cathy Park Hong“Delusions of Whiteness in the Avant-Garde”: an essay published in Lana Turner“There’s a New Movement in American Poetry and It’s Not Kenneth Goldsmith”: an essay published in The New Republic “Memories and Thoughts on Adrienne Rich”: an essay in HarrietForecasts, a poem/video project produced for Triple Canopy, in collaboration with Adam ShecterThe Rub, a project produced for the New Museum in collaboration with Mores McWreathBooks and essays mentioned in this episode “The Gold Star Awards”: a statement by The Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo in Harriet“We Need Diverse Diverse Books”: an essay by Matthew Salesses in LitHub“The Rejection of Closure”: a talk by Lyn Hejinian, transcribed and published by the Poetry Foundation The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich (W.W. Norton, 2013)Look by Solmaz Sharif (Graywolf, 2016)Blackacre by Monica Youn (Graywolf, 2016)The Program Era by Mark McGurl (Harvard University Press, 2009)In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman (Picador, 2015)Related works by other writersThe Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind, an anthology edited by Claudia Rankine (Fence, 2016)The Collected Poems of Adrienne Rich (W.W. Norton, 2016)“White Debt,” an essay by Eula Biss, published in the New York Times Magazine“In the Same Breath: The Racial Politics of the Best American Poetry 2014” by Isaac Ginsberg Miller, published in the American Poetry Review
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