May 14, 2010KR BlogKR

Love Songs

Last week I took issue with the proposition that there is a dearth of contemporary American poets who engage in politics and socially relevant topics.

This week, I direct you to Delrious Hem‘s Kundiman edition of This Is What Feminist [Poet] Looks Like. Four poets blaze into the heart of what it means to be writing poetry today as women, as Asian Americans, as citizens of this country and this society.

A few months ago, fellow Kundiman poet Ching-In Chen asked us:

Where do you draw your poetic lineages from the poetries of Asian American female or gender-non-conforming poets? How do you (do you) intersect with feminist poetics? Other communities of women? Transgendered/gender-variant communities? Racialized communities? Tactics and tricks, fragments and fears, languages and loves? How does Kundiman contain these desires or break out of them? What is your Kundiman (love song)? What is your horror? What is your broken record? How do you participate? Resist? Do you feel conflicted about your relationship to these?

The result: Purvi Shah writes on the revolutionary potential of the love poem, Yael Villafranca unfolds a lyric essay that moves through myth and mystery, Cynthia Arrieu-King’s poems resist naming and and claim the impossibility of solid identity, and I respond to the energetic spaces of Myung Mi Kim’s poetry.


This week is Round 1. In the coming weeks, more poets will be adding their voices to the love song, so check back again.