Against the backdrop of the war on drugs and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, Su Hwang’s Bodega tells the story of a Korean girl who comes of age in her parents’ bodega in the Queensbridge projects, offering a singular perspective on our nation of immigrants and the tensions pulsing in the margins where they live and work. In We Come Elemental, Tamiko Beyer leads readers to reconsider the true meaning and implications of nature and “natural” order. Reclaiming nature as queer, Beyer inspires us to discard gender dichotomies and uncover the intricate relationships between bodies both human and elemental, through syntax as unpredictable as the natural world’s movements. In Rajiv Mohabir’s The Cowherd’s Son, the poet-narrator creates an allegorical chronicle of dislocations and relocations, linking India, Guyana, Trinidad, New York, Orlando, Toronto, and Honolulu; combining the amplitude of mythology with direct witness and sensual reckoning, all the while seeking joy in testimony.
Su Hwang was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in New York, then called the Bay Area home before transplanting to the Midwest, where she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of the inaugural Jerome Hill Fellowship in Literature, the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, writer-in-residence fellowships to Dickinson House and Hedgebrook, among others, her poems have appeared in Ninth Letter, Water Stone Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere.
Tamiko Beyer spent the first ten years of her life in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of the chapbook bough breaks. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and was awarded a Chancellor’s Fellowship. Beyer is a former Kundiman Fellow, a recipient of a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, and a contributing editor to Drunken Boat.
Broadening the scope of his award-winning debut to consider the wider Indo-Caribbean community in migration across the Americas and Europe, Rajiv Mohabir uses his queer and mixed-caste identities as grace notes to charm alienation into silence. Mohabir’s inheritance of myths, folk tales, and multilingual translations make a palimpsest of histories that bleed into one another.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.