Wind Says

Wind Says- Bai Huaselected poems by Bai Hua
translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Zephyr Press, The Chinese University Press of Hong Kong,
and Brookline Mass | Hong Kong

Bai Hua  is a central literary figure of the post-Obscure (or post-“Misty”) poetry movement during the 1980s. Born in 1956 in Chongqing, he studied English literature at Guangzhou Foreign Language Institute before graduating with a Master’s degree in Western Literary History from Sichuan University. His first collection of poems, Expression (1988), received immediate critical acclaim.  Bai Hua’s poetic output is considerably modest but selective; in the past thirty years he has written only about ninety poems. After a decade-long silence, he began writing poetry again in 2007. That same year, his work garnered the prestigious Rougang Poetry Award. A prolific writer of critical prose and hybrid texts, Bai Hua is also a recipient of the Anne Kao Poetry Prize. Currently living in Chengdu, Sichuan, he teaches at the Southwest Jiaotong University.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s debut collection of poetry, Water the Moon, was published in 2010. In addition to her books of translation of Chinese poets from Zephyr Press, she has translated several contemporary French and American authors, and co-edited the Manoa anthology, Sky Lanterns (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012). An editor at Cerise Press and Vif éditions, she lives in Paris. (adapted from inside cover)

 

Verge 2012, Inverse

Verge 2012Edited by Samantha Clifford & Rosalind McFarlane
Monash University Publishing

Verge, started in 2005, is Monash University’s annual anthology of creative writing. It features work from Monash University’s writers and poets alongside works from some of Australia’s notable writers. Edited by Samantha Clifford and Rosalind McFarlane, this year’s edition of Verge is concerned with boundaries and writing against and beyond them. Writers for this issue were asked to consider the idea of “inverse” in their work. (adapted form back cover)

Two women cloaked in black burkas superimposed over a collage of yellow carnations is the first image that appears in this issue. Created by Stephanie Yap,  the geometric lines, as they clash with the curved lines of the women’s figures, create an illusion of depth. The final image in the issue is an abstract painting by Jenny Luong, titled “Inverse.” Both pieces highlight the notion that between one thing and its inverse exists a boundary that is as concrete as it is permeable.

The poems and prose in the issue expand on this notion. In the middle of the issue is a short comic by “Rouge et Noir” by Bruce Mutard. The story Mutard tells is of racial conflict amongst military men and gender roles in the public sphere and how these conflicts manifest themselves during a night out on the town.

My Postwar Life

edited by Elizabeth McKenzie
foreword by Karen Tei Yamashita
Chicago Quarterly Review Books

My Postwar Life is a collection of new writing from Japan and Okinawa. The collection includes fiction, poetry, and essays by authors Deni Y. Bechard, Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, Hiroshi Fukurai, Ryuta Imafuku, Setsuko Ishiguro, Roland Kelts, Mari Kotani,  Janice Nakao, Kim Shi-Jong, Keijiro Suga, Iona Sugihara, Goro Takano, Stewart Wachs, Stephen Woodhams, and Kentaro Yamaki. A few of the the authors, including Leza Lowitz, Shogo Oketani, Tami Sakiyama, Takayuki Tatsumi, and Katsunori Yamazato are past contributors to MĀNOA Journal.

Also included in My Postwar Life is a play by Masataka Matsuda, an interview with the former mayor of Nagasaki Hitoshi Motoshima, photography by Shomei Tomatsu, and a series of scans made from the illustrated journal of a soldier in the Imperial Army.

Elizabeth McKenzie’s story collection Stop That Girl was short-listed for The Story Prize, and was a Newsday and School Library Journal Best Book of the year. Her novel MacGregor Tells the World was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the year, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book, and a School Library Journal Top Ten Book of the year. She has received a Pushcart Prize for her short fiction, which has been included in The AtlanticBest American Nonrequired ReadingThreepenny Review, TriQuarterly, and other literary journals. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts/Japan-US Friendship Commission Creative Artist Fellowship, and is the editor of My Postwar Life: New Writings from Japan and Okinawa, published in 2012.

Forms of Feeling

by John Morgan
Salmon Poetry

In Forms of Feeling: Poetry in Our Lives, John Morgan investigates the role of poetry in the contemporary world, including where poems come from, what the audience for poetry is, and the ways in which poetry can offer a spiritual path in a secular time. He  also discusses a variety of approaches to writing poems, and spells out the importance of place in a poet’s work, focusing on his experiences in moving from New York to Alaska.  At the same time, the book explores one poet’s development from a raw beginner to a widely recognized teacher and practitioner of the craft. (Publisher’s description)

John Morgan was born in New York City, and currently splits his time between Fairbanks, Alaska and Bellingham, Washington. He is a winner of the Hatch Prize for Lyric Poetry, and an MFA holder from the University of Iowa. His works include The Bone Duster (1980), The Arctic Herd (1984),  Walking Past Midnight (1989), and several chapbooks. Two of the poems in Forms of Feeling originally appeared in the MĀNOA Journal. Forms of Feeling contains not only poems, but essays and interviews from the author, and is aimed at any reader with an interest in poetry.

Lines for Birds

poems and paintingspoems & paintings
by Barry Hill & John Wolseley

Lines for Birds is the result of a collaboration between painter John Wolseley and award-winning poet Barry Hill. The book follows the flight paths and habitats of birds, from the Victorian Mallee to the forests of South East Asia, to Japan and the south of France. (Publisher’s Description)

Barry Hill grew up in a coastal, Melbourne suburb in Australia, and since childhood has had a fascination with birds. He writes, “The whole experience of heading west on foot, out across those paddocks miles from the built up area, was inseparable from a sense of being as free as the hawks above us. Fragility and wildness—that’s how birds penetrated me as a kid.”  John Wolseley was born in England and spent much of his childhood outdoors among native birds and eventually migrated to Australia where, as he puts it, “birds and their songs followed me in a succession of homes and campsites in the scrub.”

(Taken from the back cover: “When a bird arrives, quite literally, into our space, it constitutes a burning moment in time, one which instantly seems to possess a memorable vibration. Birds have a natural, real presence. It is unqualified. That is their power. At the same time, their presence is constantly mediated by our culture, which sets off other vibrations, including spiritual ones.”)

The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawaiʻi’s Endangered Ecosystems

13238238-_uy475_ss475_by Pamela Frierson
Trinity University Press (forthcoming)

The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawai’i’s Endangered Ecosystems is Pamela Frierson’s first-person account of her journey up the Hawaiian Archipelago to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The most commonly known islands of the archipelago, from east to northwest,  are Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, and Niʻihau.  The distance from the eastern shore of Hawaiʻi island to the western shore of Niʻihau is roughly 380 miles.  The entire archipelago, however, stretches for about another 900 miles to the northwest. On the tiny islands beyond Niʻihau, ecosystems are allowed to exist more or less untouched by the urbanization that is occurring on the principal islands of Hawaiʻi, especially on Oʻahu. Although these ecosystems remain mostly undisturbed, they are beginning to feel the effects of the world beyond their shores.

Pamela Frierson is the author of The Burning Island, and numerous articles and essays about the Pacific world. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including The World Between Waves, A Thousand Leagues of Blue, and Intimate Nature. She is one of forty-four writers invited by Barry Lopez to write original work for Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, featured on NPR’s “Living on Earth” program. In 2012, she received the Hawai`i Elliot Cades Award.

 

Winter Sun

by Shi Zhi
translated by Jonathan Stalling
University of Oklahoma Press, 2012.

By presenting Shi Zhi’s poems in chronological order, Winter Sun allows readers to appreciate the evolution of his poetry from his earliest work to his most recent poems. (Publisher’s Description)

Born as Guo Lusheng in 1948, at the height of the Chinese Civil War, Shi Zhi joined the People’s Liberation Army at the age of twenty-three. Discharged early, he entered into a period of severe depression and spent much of the next three decades living in mental hospitals under harsh conditions. Taking the pen name of Shi Zhi, meaning “index finger,” to evoke the image of people pointing at his back, he continued to write poetry throughout these tumultuous years.