Floyd Cheung

Smith College

Thanks to the Smith College Poetry Center for making these beautifully designed cards with my poems on them!

I had an amazing time reading at Smith last Tuesday. Many thanks to Matt Donovan, Director of the Poetry Center, for organizing and shepherding and conversing. Thanks to Nathan McClain for the gorgeous introduction at the reading.

And my love to former teachers who came to the event—Floyd Cheung (I took an Asian American literature class with him and now he’s teaching my book in one such class!) and Martín Espada (I took a workshop, a Pablo Neruda class, and a poetry of the political imagination class with him at UMass Amherst).

It was also wonderful to meet up with some friends, old & new (love how easy it is to visit Western Mass/the Valley now that I’m back in the Boston area). And to explore the Smith College Museum of Art, which has such a fantastic collection… AND an incredible gift shop.

For example: this snail figurine!!

snail.JPG

New poems in Massachusetts Review

Ahh I’ve got 2 very queer, very season-obsessed poems in the new Massachusetts Review, which is an issue devoted to Asian American literature. Here’s one poem, “Spring.” You can read the other one, “Winter,” over on my Instagram.

What a gift, a blessing, to be a part of such a gorgeous issue, alongside ✨ shining stars ✨ Kazim Ali, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Wo Chan, Floyd Cheung (a former teacher of mine!), Marilyn Chin, Franny Choi, Kimiko Hahn, W. Todd Kaneko, Swati Khurana, Christine Kitano, Hyejung Kook, Joseph O. Legaspi, Sally Wen Mao, Rajiv Mohabir, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Raena Shirali, Ocean Vuong, Jane Wong, Shelley Wong, Bryan Thao Worra, John Yau, Timothy Yu, & others. ❤️❤️

With many thanks to the guest editors, Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis. And what an amazing feature of this issue, the lectures and addresses—Asian American writers talking about, thinking about other Asian American writers.

This publication also marks a personal milestone: my third time in the Massachusetts Review! Having grown up in Amherst, then Boston, this journal has long been on my radar—was one of my first dream pubs. So glad, as an Asian American who most strongly feels “from” Massachusetts, that my third contribution to the journal is for this issue.

At the same time, my continued reading and working in Asian American studies lead me to question “belonging” to any state under rubrics of “American-ness” (too often dependent on proximity to cishet whiteness). Also considering who has yet to appear in this and other “Asian American issues” of journals—and how I can help shift things, with such issues and beyond this framework of the special issue and “inclusion.” Grateful to the writers in this issue for reminding me to keep pushing my imagination, my politics, my craft.