by Wang Ping
University of Georgia Press, 2018
Winner of the 2017 Award for Creative Nonficiton from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs
The Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers are the world’s third and fourth greatest. They have in common pollution, sinking deltas and cities (New Orleans and Shanghai), and pollution from agricultural and industrial runoffs. But also long histories of poets and artists inspired by them. Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi recounts the events during the author’s trips down the Yang Tze and Mississippi River as part of her Kinship of Rivers project, a public art endeavor “to build kinship among communities along the Mississippi and Yangtze, and bring awareness to the river’s ecosystem through art, literature, music, food and installations of river-flags made by river communities.” Wang writes “since 2012, we’ve traveled along the Yangtze, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, St. Croix, Fraser, Amazon, Ganges, Po, and many other rivers around the world. We paddled and rowed, biked, walked and met with locals to make poetry, arts, music, food. We made friends with thousands of people, made over 3000 river flags, installed them along the rivers and on the Everest (the North Face and South Side), and spread our prayers for peace, harmony and love from the roof of the earth.”
Wang Ping is a poet, photographer, and performance and multimedia artist. She is also the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project.
by Yumiko Tsumura
Finishing Line Press, 2016
Woman of March gives us a glimpse of Yumiko Tsumura’s childhood Pacific War memories of Japan as well as her life in the US, rich with intimate perceptions, invested with transformative powers, and depicting a life path of discoveries, losses, and reaffirmations. Her power of observation is clearly seen through her precision in these autobiographical poems.
the young men died
Tsumura’s poems are not haiku but haiku-like, emerging as epiphanies upon white paper. They are a testimony to a life lived in specific, deep consciousness. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Yumiko Tsumura was born and educated in Japan and has an MFA in poetry and translation from the University of Iowa. She has taught at universities both in Japan and the US. Her books of translation include Kazuko Shiraishi’s poetry collections from New Directions.
by Andrew Schelling
Counterpoint Press, 2017
Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture is a story of the life of the Old Coyote of Big Sur, Jaime de Angulo. In addition to being a tale capturing de Angulo’s time as a cowboy, miner, poet, doctor, linguist, and ethnomusicologist, the book provides insight on the persecuted Native Californian cultures and languages that have endured to modern times.
Jaime de Angulo’s poetry and prose represented the bohemian sensibilities of the twenties, thirties, and forties. He was also known for his reworkings of coyote tales and shamanic mysticism. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Andrew Schelling has written or edited twenty books, including Love and the Turning Seasons: India’s Poetry and Erotic Longing. For over twenty years he’s been teaching at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School and also teaches at Deer Park Institute, in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Jaime de Angulo (1887-1950) was born in Paris to Spanish parents. At eighteen, he fled to America to become a cowboy. In his lifetime, he was also a rancher, doctor, lecturer, anthropologist, linguist, and musicologist, as well as wrote poetry and fiction. He also published articles on indigenous languages and music systems of Northern California and Mexico. The year before he died, he broadcasted retellings of Native Californian myths and stories over the radio, which are still available today.
by Veronica Montes
Philippine American Literary House, 2018
Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories is a collection of fourteen fictional stories focused on Filipino families. It explores their struggles as navigate through a world influenced by both their native customs and American media. It depicts the grief and joy, and denials and affections that keep these families together. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Veronica Montes is a Filipino-American writer who lives in the Bay Area of Northern California. Her stories are inspired by the Filipino and mainstream American cultures that she grew up in.
edited by Tenzin Dickie
OR Books, New York and London, 2017
Old Demons, New Deities is the first anthology of contemporary Tibetan fiction available in English. Though Tibetan literature dates back millennia, its modern form is under forty years old. It began in 1980 and 1981 with literary journals, Tibetan Art and Literature and Light Rain.
In this book, readers will get an authentic look at the the lives of Tibetans in various settings such as the Himalayas, India, and New York, as they understand the relationships between tradition and modernity, occupation and exile, and the personal and the national. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Tenzin Dickie is a writer and literary translator living in New York. Her writings have been published in Indian Literature, Apogee Journal, Tibetan Review, Himal SouthAsian, and Cultural Anthropology, and anthologized in The Yellow Nib: Modern English Poetry by Indians from The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry and The Tibet Reader, forthcoming from the Duke University Press. Her translations have been published in The Washington Post online and Modern Poetry in Translation. She is an editor at treasuryoflives.org, a biographical encyclopedia of significant figures from Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan Region.
by Patrick Vinton Kirch
University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015
In this memoir, archaeologist Patrick Vinton Kirch describes his fieldwork in over two dozen islands in the Pacific.
Kirch started out as an intern under Bishop Museum zoologist Yoshio Kondo and took part in archaeological digs on the islands of Hawai‘i and Maui. During his high school years at Punahou, he apprenticed with eminent archaeologist Kenneth Emory. After Kirch obtained his anthropology degree from the University of Pennsylvania, he joined a Bishop Museum expedition to Anuta Island, where a traditional Polynesian culture still flourished. He went on to earn his doctorate at Yale University with a study of the traditional irrigation-based chiefdoms of Futuna Island. Since then, Kirch has worked with ecologists, soil scientists, and paleontologists to explain how Polynesians adapted to and altered their island ecosystems.
In Unearthing the Polynesian Past, Kirch reflects on how archaeological methods have advanced and how knowledge of the Polynesian past has developed. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Patrick Vinton Kirch is Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley.
Foreign Language Publications, The Ohio State University, 2016
Coyote Traces author Aku Wuwu, of the Yi ethnic minority in Southwest China, shares his real journey through both nations and the internconnection of cultures and languages.
In the words of author Aku Wuwu: “In these poems, I have tried to record the tangible and intangible heritages of Native Americans as I perceive them. In the process, I occassionally invoke my own Nuosu heritage. Imbibing the fresh air of other peoples’ cultures, I ponder over my personal spiritual life and the home of my soul. I wish to combine these shattered fragments into some serious ideas and thoughts. While writing these so-called cross-lingual and cross-cultural texts, I have attempted to explore the real nature of humanity, which has occassionally turned out to be a spiritual pilgramage back to my own native civilization.”
The collection of 80 poems, written in both Chinese and English translations, includes 9 full-color photo plates from the author’s journey. Paperback, 377 pages. (Publisher’s description)