Kenji Liu: Poems

Landing 1. In a Manhattan church basement, my parents practice English. Heads bent over thin workbooks, aura of old wood and painted cement circling their crowns. He’s watching fluorescence flit from the new steel bands on their fingers. Together, they utter the holy words—my name is, where is, cream and sugar, please, thank you, when [Continue Reading…]

Collier Nogues: “The News from Poems: A Dispatch from Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution”

In the first few days of Hong Kong’s protests, the need for context fueled an explosion of journalism in Western media. The BBC’s live feed of the protests was accompanied by timelines, short recaps of recent history, and explications of Hong Kong’s political system. Those were followed widely by longer pieces about Hong Kong’s economic [Continue Reading…]

Adriel Luis: “#OccupyHongKong: Museum of the Future”

“Do you understand that I need to take this route because Hong Kong is going through troubling times?” the driver asked me in Cantonese, as our taxi meandered through the side alleys of Hong Kong Island. It was Friday October 10, and the government had just canceled the talks it had promised to activists who [Continue Reading…]

Henry W. Leung: “This is Not a Tourist Attraction”

“I do not know if you are frightened of the word ‘revolution’ here, but in some places, people are terrified of it.” —Lu Xun in a talk delivered in HK, 1927     The eighteen-year-old I’m tutoring opens his backpack, and there they are: science-lab goggles, thick and green, wraparound. He can’t boycott classes, not [Continue Reading…]

Lucas Klein

Two days after attending the Occupy Central demonstrations in Hong Kong I was in a crowd in Tiananmen Square. Though I have lived in Hong Kong now longer than anywhere else in the broadly Chinese-speaking world, my greatest affinity has been for Beijing—the first home I had in China, where the family I married into [Continue Reading…]

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: “Who Hasn’t Spoken Out?”

One of the songs that has been adopted by the protesters in Hong Kong during the Umbrella Revolution is “Do You Hear the People Sing,” from the English musical adaptation of Les Misérables. The rousing lyrics seem to perfectly capture the yearning and concerns of the democracy fighters in the city, and they have sung it again and again. [Continue Reading…]

Nicholas Wong: “Protests”

International media have prided the ongoing street protests in Hong Kong as the most orderly and unconventionally peaceful. It’s all true—protestors (mainly university and high school students) set up supplies stations in streets with bottled water, biscuits, surgical masks, fruits, towels (in case of another teargas assault), raincoats, and, of course, the iconic umbrellas. Though [Continue Reading…]

Dispatches from Hong Kong

Nicholas Wong: “Protests” “On Oct 3, protestors stationed in Mongkok and Causeway Bay were raided by a big number of Pro-government thugs and triads. They all arrived with a claim that they lived in the neighborhoods and decided to step forward to take back the streets to restore order. Their voice was full of agenda [Continue Reading…]

A Lettre Correspondence: Ocean Vuong & Arthur Sze

Dear Arthur— Thank you so kindly for participating in the Asian American Literary Review’s mentorship program. I am so honored and grateful for this opportunity to speak and work with you. I do not have any formal education in poetics and what I have learned has been mostly self-taught via the abundance housed in libraries—so [Continue Reading…]

An Occasional Reading of “Twenty-six Ways of Looking at a Blackman” By Gerald Maa

Now, as I see it, is an opportune time to look at Raymond Patterson’s neglected masterpiece, “Twenty-six Ways of Looking at a Blackman.” Although “Twenty-six Ways” is the eponymous poem for his 1969 book, Twenty-six Ways of Looking at a Blackman and Other Poems, it stands out as an exception, aesthetically, in the collection, as [Continue Reading…]