Friday, February 27, 2009


Empty Suitcase:
Pick Up the 27 Phone Receivers from Artists and Writers in Analecta

I am pleased to introduce 27 artists and writers in Analecta 2009. These artists and writers have been specially selected from the finest ingredients at IU South Bend and processed by Fiction Editor: Mitchell Robinson, Poetry Editor: Eric Duenez, and Editor in Chief: Naoko Fujimoto to produce a full bodied, robust Analecta that goes down smooth, and never comes back up.

The IU South Bend Writing Awards have not been announced yet, so they may have minor adjustments (I hope to not miss award-winning writers at this moment,) however, this issue will contain 100% creative energy; I guaranteed to inebriate the senses without risking the brain cells.

The cover art will be designed by a promising, young photographer, Ashley Hartsough. She is a junior, double majoring in radiology and fine arts. She has been practicin photography for four years and her pictures have sparkle, gripping any eyes that glance upon them. “I must have it,” readers will say; and then their souls will be mine.

Some featured writers are Ryan Smith, who was recently accepted by the MFA Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame and Vince Bauters, who is a former editor in chief for Analecta 2008. Both writers are published in the poetry magazine, Margie. The magazine is available at bookstores nationwide.

From an advanced poetry class come writers Amy Irons and Nicole Koroch and Samantha Plute as a photographer, who will publish their creative works in Analecta. Brandi Miller, the editor of the IUSB Preface and Dane Blue, the President of Student Government Association, will also publish her creative nonfiction story and his photograph, respectively.

I named only a few artists and writers of the 27 that contributed because of limited space; however, I am very excited to have worked with such an inspiring group of artists and writers.

Last but not least, a phone receiver is the theme of Analecta 2009. These great works surround the readers like 27 dormant phones, letting them answer whichever one calls out first. So listen, all the 27 phone receivers will suddenly be ringing, bumbling around on a green spring field on April 11.

*artwork by Naoko Fujimoto

Thursday, February 26, 2009

By Louise Gluck

The nights have grown cool again, like the nights
of early spring, and quiet again. Will
speech disturb you? We’re
alone now; we have no reason for silence.

Can you see, over the garden—the full moon rises.
I won’t see the next full moon.

In spring, when the moon rose, it meant
time was endless. Snowdrops
opened and closed, the clustered
seeds of the maples fell in pale drifts.
White over white, the moon rose over the birch tree.
And in the crook, where the tree divides,
leaves of the first daffodils, in moonlight
soft greenish-silver.

We have come too fat together toward the end now
to fear the end. These nights, I am no longer even certain
I know what the end means. And you, who’ve been
.......with a man—

after the first cries,
doesn’t joy, like fear, make no sound?

Louise Gluck "The Wild Iris"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

By Louise Gluck

Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the shaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon raised:

This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here
Come here, little one

And the soul creeps out of the tree.

Louise Gluck "The house on Marchland"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Empty Suitcase:
Moments with Fathers and Daughters before Goodnight Sleep

An interview with Dr. Chang Choi about his academic career and his writer daughter Susan Choi, who is taking in part in events for the annual art and literary magazine, Analecta, was absolutely fantastic. (The interview is in this issue and the Analecta publication ceremony will be open to the public on April 11.)

Dr. Choi talked that he used to read children books to his daughter every night and her favorite book was Charlotte’s Web, which reminded me of my father. My father also read books before my sister and I went to sleep on our futon-mattress and our favorite Japanese book was How to Digest Food. The book was artistic but might not be an appropriate book for raising a poet; well, I am choosing to be a poet.

The plot was very simple. After a boy eats an apple, strawberry ice cream, fried rice, teriyaki salmon, tomato, a ham sandwich and etc, fairies appear and start their long journeys in the tunnels. There were various fairies who dressed up as superstars like Madonna, a sumo wrestler, fisher, runner, pianist, mother with two daughters, and plumber. Each fairy carried food and walks through the intestines.

“A runner carries ice cream because he wants to digest it before it melts. Oops, the superstar Madonna is unhappy after stepping on the droppings with her high heels,” which my father impersonated, each character having a different voice. My sister responded, “It is ok, Dad, because she carried hundreds of shoes and dresses in her colorful suitcases behind her.” And I said, “But Madonna needs a stall to change her clothes.” My sister asked, “Does the stall become a cancer cell?”

Therefore, we never fell sleep until our mother turned off the lights or my father became tired of answering those questions.

A couple weeks ago, my father met an emergency doctor and he is still in the hospital attached to seven tubes. My mother did not tell me about his health condition because she did not want me to worry about it. But my sister emailed me that he had a surgery to cut one foot of intestine.

I wondered if Madonna’s changing room was in that segment, and I could only imagine the look on her face when she exits in her new, fabulous outfit to find herself in a bio-contaminent bag. She would have to find her way back to his body. Yeesh, sounds like a bad version of Finding Nemo, in red high heels.

My father emailed me yesterday. He has not eaten food for three weeks and felt like a Buddhist monk during their fast. One of the Buddhist doctrines is “nothing,” which makes him feel better and he wants to change his name into a Buddhist name, Kuukan: the view of nothing. While my mother is absolutely upset about my father being Kuukan on the hospital bed, my sister and I are in Tokyo and South Bend; far away from Nagoya. Nothing I can do for my parents.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Welcome Kero to home!
It was a birthday surprise from Aaron :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Empty Suitcase

Dr. Chang Choi, Father of an Author of the Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Has a Story

Dr. Chang Choi, who is currently teaching mathematic classes at IU South Bend, was once a struggling, international student. His family is originally from South Korea, but he spent his younger years in Japan and South Korea and came to America as a student in 1955.

His father was a well-known Shakespearian scholar and published several books in Japan under a Japanese name, Kozo Ishida. However, Korean politics during that time period had conflicts with Ishida’s Japanese academic background, so he was in a prison for a while. Therefore, Dr. Choi’s parents decided to send their children to overseas places such as America, Australia, and France during their college ages.

“I had the first opportunity to be a Korean student at Harvard,” said Dr. Choi but his final decision was to study mathematics at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. “Actually, I wanted to be a philosopher,” Dr. Choi also said; however, his academic advisor suggested him to study mathematics because English was not his first language. He added, “I was a slow reader, like I read three lines per day, so my advisor was deeply concerned about how I was going to read book upon book for philosophical assignments. Mathematics does not need English as much as Philosophy.”

His early college experiences in America became a famous story for the best-selling novel, The Foreign Student, by his daughter Susan Choi. She is also the author of American Woman, which was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize.

Dr. Choi said, “I believe that Susan’s writing talent is in her DNA from my father.” Susan Choi wrote her first stories when she was six years old and submitted them to a British children’s magazine called Cricket. According to Dr. Choi, Susan Choi received early writing awards from the magazine when she was six to eight years-old.

When Susan Choi was young she owned enough books for a children’s library in their home and Dr. Choi used to make book shelves for those books. “I read books to her every evening before she went to bed,” said Dr. Choi. Even if he was on a business trip he read stories over the phone receiver, spending 20 to 60 minutes in a long distance call. He added, “Susan’s favorite book was Charlotte’s Web and she corrected my pronunciations when she started reading and when I fell asleep while reading, she said, “Daddy I’m not sleeping!”

Susan Choi currently teaches at Princeton University and is a mother of two children. On April 11, she will visit IUSB as a guest writer and judge of the IU South Bend Creative Writing Awards and celebrate together with IUSB faculty and students for the publication of Analecta, an annual art and literary magazine. In the event, she will read her most recent work, A Person of Interest.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So, I created lines and lines of marshmallow-drum and fife bands wearing Belgium chocolate scarves and strawberry berets.

It was NOT a box of chocolate.
It was a block of chocolate from Belgium like a soap.
Happy Morning after Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hymn for Two Choirs
by Ashley Capps

Best apple I ever had was three o'clock
in the morning, somewhere outside
San Francisco, beach camping, stars holding
the sky together like sutures. I was thinking
how I was going to get old and ask myself
why did I only live for one thing;
at the same time I didn't know how to change.
I thought I felt like my neighbor's huge dog--
every day stuffed into a small man's green T-shirt
and chained to a stake in a yard of incongruous
white tulips. Here and there a red bird, a train.
Way down the beach other tents glowed orange.
I heard a stranger call my name
and another stranger, laughing, answered.

Ashley Capps, "Hymn for Two Choirs" from Making the Sea for Green Fields. Copyright
© 2006 by the author.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Reading events by international writers at the University of Notre Dame and IU South Bend

The IUSB Preface
Reading events by international writers at the University of Notre Dame and IU South Bend

From February 9-11 at the University of Notre Dame there was the international reading event, “Global Women Writers Now, Notre Dame Women Writers Festival 2009, Women in International Literary Cultures: Korea and Mexico.” Two phenomenal writers, Kim Hyesoon (Korea) and Laura Solórzano (Mexico) and their translators, Don Mee Choi and Jen Hofer, discussed translation processes and conflicts of female writers in each country and performed their poetry in both their native language and English.

Kim Hyesoon is an award-winning writer and has several published books in Korea. She writes poems spoken by animals such as hens, cows, and rats. Mommy Must be a Fountain of Feathers is her first book translated into English. From a book of her early work of poetry, “Conservatism of the Rats of Seoul,” she wrote, “Daddy and Mommy lay us down one by one/ Many of us are born— as many as Mommy’s nipples/ Mommy licks our eyes with her tongue softer than white bread,/ licks with all her might, with darkness, darkness is cozy…” All her poems are translated by Don Mee Choi, who is currently working on Heysoon’s newest book published in Korea and his first poetry book by the publisher Action Books.

Laura Solórzano is also one of the well-known writers in Mexico and is currently on the editorial board of the literary arts magazine Tragaluz. She also teaches writing at the Centro de Arte Audiovisual in Guadalajara. “Sign” is one the poems from her recently published book, lip wolf. She wrote, “The sensation of the lasso. To swear in the tentacle’s monotony./ Don’t omit the lasso now, nor save yourself from the sensation/ of thirsty thirsty. Serve yourself when you sense or say lilies in the city./ Lilies I’ve fixed to you, fireflies of lacteal lips…” The book is translated by Jen Hofer. Hofer’s next book will be a full-length translation of Dolores Dorantes’s sexoPUROsexoVELOZ, forthcoming from Kenning Editions.

On February 10 at IU South Bend, the Russian poet Michael Dumanis visited creative writing and poetry lectures by Kelcey Parker and David Dodd Lee and held a poetry reading event. Dumanis, the professors, and their students discussed how he processes writing and creates rhymes between repeated words. He adapts many Russian poetry techniques into his English writing. Dumanis received a PhD from the University of Houston and a MFA from the University of Iowa. He is currently teaching literature and creative writing at Cleveland State University, where he serves as the Director of the Cleveland Sate University Poetry Center and edits the books in their poetry and novella series.

His first collection of poems, My Soviet Union, won the Juniper Prize for Poetry from the University of Massachusetts Press. “Baku, 1980” is one of the earliest poems from his book and it was inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry, “Fish.” He wrote, “Outside, the stink of gas,/ seeped by vermicular streets./ Baku is a city steeped/ in gas…Is there a zoo, I ask,/ because I want to ask the right question./ Of course, she sights, we have a zoo, but the only/ animal lift is a wolf/ with no skin on one side.”

Upcoming reading events at IU South Bend include Ashley Capps, who is going to have a poetry reading event on March 5. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa writer’s workshop and is the bestselling writer of Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields. In addition, Analecta, the annual IU South Bend literary and art magazine, will be introduced by the English Department and a guest writer, Susan Choi, will announce the winners of the IU South Bend writing awards on April 11. Susan Choi won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her books The Foreign Student and American Woman are available at IU South Bend Schurz Library.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

By Kim Hyesoon
translated by Don Mee Choi

Daddy and Mommy lay us down one by one
Many of us are born-- as many as Mommy's nipples
Mommy licks out eyes with her tongue softer than white bread,
licks with all her might, with darkness, darkness is cozy

Daddy who herds a fish head home also brings with him scary news
You can hear the footsteps far away, the wailing dire truck
Mommy's nipples harden
Mommy blocks the rat hole with her entire body,
out ears as well

A hairy leg enters our room It's him He thrashes his body around,
bam bam, shaking the house, but only the leg enters,
toenails rip Mommy's eyes, ears,
the foot in a leather shoe stomps on Mommy's skirt
Mommy isn't breathing

He pokes around, back and forth
as many times as the minute hand of the night
You can hear the snarl all night long
He wails, pounding his head against the wall
Mommy is like a corpse and Daddy is nowhere to be seen
All night long, crushed against the house,
a hairy mouth tries to get in

By morning all is quiet-- he must have left
Mommy finally gets up and breaths
Mommy bites and kills each one of us
for giving off a suspicious scent from last night's terror
She kills us then eats out intestines,
grinds her teeth against a wall
then digs out our eyeballs to eat
then there is no one
as always, only Daddy and Mommy are left
It looks as if Mommy is expecting another litter

Kim Heysoon, "Conservatism of the Rats of Seoul" from Mommy Must be a Fountation of Feathers. Copyright
© 1981, 1985, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2004 by Kim Heysoon and 2008 by Don Mee Choi.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Villon
by Philip Levine

He tells me in Bangkok he’s robbed
Because he’s white; in London because he’s black;
In Barcelona, Jew; in Paris, Arab:
Everywhere and at all times, and he fights back.

He holds up seven thick little fingers
To show me he’s rated seventh in the world,
And there’s no passion in his voice, no anger
In the flat brown eyes flecked with blood.

He asks me to tell all I can remember
Of my father, his uncle; he talks of the war
In North Africa and what came after,
The loss of his father, the loss of his brother,

The windows of the bakery smashed and the fresh bread
Dusted with glass, the warm smell of rye
So strong he ate till his mouth filled with blood.
“Here they live, here they live and not die,”

And he points down at his black head ridged
With black kinks of hair. He touches my hair,
Tells me I should never disparage
The stiff bristles that guard the head of the fighter.

Sadly his fingers wander over my face,
And he says how fair I am, how smooth.
We stand to end this first and last visit.
Stiff, 116 pounds, five feet two,

No bigger than a girl, he holds my shoulders,
Kisses my lips, his eyes still open,
My imaginary brother, my cousin,
Myself made otherwise by all his pain.

Philip Levine, “Baby Villon” from Not This Pig. Copyright © 1968 by Philip Levine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Empty Suitcase:
Economic Mosquitoes Holey Stocking Blues

My birthday is coming on this twenty first of February. I was once sweet sixteen and it was a decade ago. In 1999, I was a spoiled, nearly high school dropout and I hid under my blanket all day long before I met my very first crazy American friends (what’s up, Leif and Elizabeth!). My parents did not want to see me in their apartment during the daytime, so they bought a flight ticket to America. I spend my sixteenth summer vacation in Portland, Oregon.

I still exactly did not know why I could not go to high school and sleep twenty-two hours every day, but in the summer, I decided to study writing in America during my future, which I clearly remember.

So, I constantly sent Nachan Weekly News to Leif and Elizabeth writing about a mosquito that tried to make a friend with me like E.T., but could not fight the urge to suck the blood from the tip of my finger instead of gently caressing it with a glowing fingertip of its own (Mmmm, mosquito lovin’…) and the story was written with my beginner’s English. Those stories were probably like weekly deranged newsletters for them, and they felt safe because the little Asian girl lived over the Pacific Ocean. Most likely, she did not have enough blood to sustain to a swim over.

Then in my Japanese college era, I kept showing stories to an Australian Professor, (hello, Merryn!) and I wrote about a woman who, when asked about her leg that she previously cut half of her navy stocking off from because of a little hole answered, “It is a skin condition that causes discoloration.” To which the interviewers slowly distanced themselves to the far end of the table for fear of contagion. With a warm hart, the professor still kept those stories in her office.

In the last five academic years at IU South Bend, my dream finally came true— studying writing in America— I could not write whatever I wanted in English classes and I learned the hard way with incomplete grades; however, I had a chance to show what I was doing for ten years with The Preface. I met the awesome editors, (hi, Brandi and Jason!) and the best staff writers (sorry, I could not name all).

The reason why I named all creative and supportive people is that entire student publications had extremely harsh budget cut such as The Preface and Analecta, the award winning, literature and art magazine by English Department at IU South Bend, because of the worst economic situations.

I believe that people need college news, entertainment, art, beauty, and laughter from those publications to survive through the worsening economy. Unfortunately creative programs are always in the first line of budget cutting. With the 7.6% unemployment rate, forgetting about art and creativity is a reality because people need bread to live, not stories.

But The Preface has spirit; the spirit of young journalists, writers, and photographers. They are no longer paid until we have enough advertisements and donations like we used to receive through local and nationwide industries. Remember, those young journalists also went through struggles to pay rent. We are all the same, BROKE!

The Student Government Association (hey, Dane, Sam, and the senators!) do the best support for student-based activities under this worst economic situation. Analecta received more than enough financial support. I do not know how to express my many thanks for the SGA and I will promise as an editor to introduce fantastic beginning writers and artists from IU South Bend to the world.

Monday, February 9, 2009


NOT publishable

If you know why, you have a different mindset of mine...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Perforated Value