I am currently working on my online audio project, which will be released on January 19, 2019 along with my graphic poetry exhibition at the Arlington Green Executive Centre (supported by the Northwest Cultural Council).
Graphic poems are enjoyable themselves; however, it may be more interesting when the audience has accesses to more sensory input. So, I asked ten established poets who I respect and love their artistic styles to record my original poems.
Gabrielle Bates responded first (she recently published her poem in the New Yorker) and read “Dividing” for me. When I heard her recording, I was chilled—about ten years ago, I just started writing poems in my second language and many people (including myself) did not know that it was an achievable idea. But now, a leading poet like Gabrielle is supporting my project. I literally rolled on the floor like a happy cat. (though my cat scoffed at my technique)
I will post all ten poets and writers shortly. I am so excited to share the recordings and graphic poems through my website. I am just thankful that I have a chance to pave a poetic path with them.
This year was another amazing year! I am so thankful that so many people have been supporting me and my projects.
This Spring, my third chapbook, “Mother Said, I Want Your Pain”, was published by Backbone Press. I believe that this is one of my strongest collections. While I like all my chapbooks, I think I have a better understanding of my strengths than before, like crafting/composing words, tempo of the works, theme, and most importantly, my writing becomes freer as I let go of my fear of writing in correct American-English grammar. I am not saying that grammar is not important, but my grammar-first mindset has slightly changed. I am still learning and want to progress my poetic skills; thought, I may start finding my own entrance to writing in my own language.
Backbone Press just lunched their broadsides brand. My poem, “Dividing”, was selected and created into a broadside by them. There are four custom broadsides, original poems by Nikki Giovanni, Malcolm Friend, Kassidi Jones, and me. I personally like “Sleep Cycle” by Kassidi.
Also, my full-length manuscript, “Where I Was Born”, was accepted by Willow Books. I recently selected my cover-art, which is painted by Minami Kobayashi. She is a Japanese artist who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Tokyo University of the Arts.
I met Minami through her exhibition in Chicago and I am so happy to get to know her. The cover-art is painted with water colors. I adore the yellow flowers because my name in Kanji means a yellow flower. Though, I think that her most significant color is green. Her somewhat transparent, light pure green hues seems to cleanse my mind. She is going to have her exhibition on January 13, 2019 at Goldfinch Project Chicago.