Join us for a reading with poets Tina Chang, Sarah Gambito, and Tina Cane.
In Hybrida, Tina Chang confronts the complexities of raising a mixed-race child during an era of political upheaval in the United States. She ruminates on the relationship between her son’s blackness and his safety, exploring the dangers of childhood in a post–Trayvon Martin era and invoking racialized roles in fairy tales. Against the stark urban landscapes of threat and surveillance, Chang returns to the language of mothers.
Meditating on the lives of Michael Brown, Leiby Kletzky, and Noemi Álvarez Quillay―lost at the hands of individuals entrusted to protect them―Chang creates hybrid poetic forms that mirror her investigation of racial tensions. Through an agile blend of zuihitsu, ghazal, prose poems, mosaic poems, and lyric essays, Hybrida envisions a childhood of mixed race as one that is complex, emotionally wrought, and often vulnerable. Hybrida is a twenty-first-century tale that is equal parts a mother’s love and her fury, an ambitious and revelatory exploration of identity that establishes Tina Chang as one of the most vital voices of her generation.
Tina Chang is the Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family. She is the author of two previous collections of poetry—including Half-Lit Houses, a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award—and coeditor of the seminal anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. The recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, and Poets & Writers, among other honors, Chang teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.
In Loves You, Sarah Gambito explores the recipe as poetic form and a mode of resistance. Through the inclusion of real recipes that she and her family cook from, she brings readers to the table―not only to enjoy the bounty of her poems but, slyly, to consider the ways in which Filipino Americans, and people of color in general, are assailed and fetishized. In addition, the book explores the manifold ways that poetry can nourish and provide for us. Gambito’s poems have always been full zest and bite. Now she literally invites us to dig in with this long-awaited new book. Kain na tayo – let’s eat.
Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Loves You (Persea Books), Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, POETRY, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, The New Republic and other journals. She holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Literary Arts Program at Brown University. Her honors include the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets and Writers, The Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts from the Asian American Arts Alliance and grants and fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts and The MacDowell Colony. She is Associate Professor of English / Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving writers and readers of Asian American literature.
Tina Cane’s new collection of poems, Body of Work, fuses the personal and the political as it explores the nature of work, poetry, economics, and motherhood. Body of Work is a meditation on memory and change: the changing landscape of the inner and outer life, of family and city, and the nature of personal and cultural identity. Cane reflects upon the “continual mysteries” of her Chinese-American heritage and the complexities of being a person in the world with others.
In this innovative and searing new collection, Tina Cane writes of memories amassed “like money banked beneath a mattress.” The result is a landscape of lyrical fragments and potent images that combine and recombine as the book progresses, with the poems weaving expertly through domesticity, motherhood, Chinese-American identity, and the city present and past. With stealth and insight, Body of Work takes us to places unforeseen, urgent, and essential.
—Natalie Schapero, author of Hard Child
Tina Cane serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, where she lives with her husband and their three children. She is also the founder and director of Writers-in- the-Schools, RI and is an instructor with the writing community, Frequency Providence. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including The Literary Review, Two Serious Ladies, The Tupelo Quarterly, Jubliat and The Common. She is the author of The Fifth Thought, Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, poems with art by Esther Solondz, Once More With Feeling (Veliz Books), and Body of Work (Veliz Books). In 2016, Tina received the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.