Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This month at WesPress, we are celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month! Here is a sampling of relevant poetry, dance, and music collections that celebrate Asian culture and arts.

2022 APHM Poetry Collection

The Past I Wendy Xu

“Xu’s lyricism and near-painterly control of the line are breathtaking. The Past shows us how the natural world tells of a shared history and language long after the traumas of revolution and immigration. These poems push outward at all of the seams.”

—Wendy S. Walters, author of Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal

Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking I Tan Lin

“The recipes contained herein are quite computational and result in the blankest of architectural forms, in which I would like to go shopping. An utterly, compellingly boring film—I’ve already forgotten it in the best way unimaginable.”

—Warren Liu, Assistant Professor of English, Scripps College

RENDANG I Will Harris

“Will Harris takes British poetry into new waters: RENDANG is an astonishing debut. These questing poems rend and render, they tear and they give. Slipping between the everyday and the unreal, between crystalline lyric and a roving, essayistic expansiveness, their shapeshifting delves into the self and its precarious foundations… Many are heart-stopping: the kind of poem that makes you put down the book for a while just to breathe.”

—Sarah Howe, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize

Treadwinds I Walter K. Lew

“Editor and collagist, movieteller and translator, Lew is one of our most precious cultural resources. These wondrous fragments culled from over a quarter century of work are his multifaceted talents at their most finely honed. They can be read as film, history, miscellany — indeed, anything but poetry, that is, the best definition of poetry we have.”

—Alvin Lu, author of The Hell Screens

Crazy Melon and Chinese Apple I Frances Chung

“Her work [is] direct in voice and intensely personal in subject matter. Yet her identity is one that is always being refracted through the larger world . . . This collection’s editor, Walter K. Lew, has done an admirable job of drawing [Chung’s manuscripts] together into a book that is rich with images and Chung’s vital, vibrant voice . . . Chung’s form owes much to William Carlos Williams; many of her poems are compact and oddly moving narratives that give voice to those who are between cultures.”

—The New York Times Book Review

2022 APHM Dance & Music Collection

A Body In Fukushima I Eiko Otake & William Johnston

“Otake and Johnston’s stunning collaborative work will forever haunt us with a sense of belatedness. It compels us to consider the longue durée of 3.11 disaster and its connectedness to many losses, pain and the ongoing structural injustices in Fukushima and beyond.”

—Lisa Yoneyama, author of Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dialectics of Memory and award-winning Cold War Ruins: Transpacific Critique of American Justice and Japanese War Crimes

Flowers Cracking Concrete, Eiko & Koma’s Asian/American Choreographies I Rosemary Candelario

“Clearly written, Flowers Cracking Concrete offers both a comprehensive, invaluable analysis of Eiko and Koma’s work and a compelling, insightful examination. This book is indispensible reading for those interested in the histories and practices of contemporary concert dance, and in the luminous works of these internationally renowned artists.”

—Judith Hamera, professor of dance, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University

Empty Room I Michael Sakamoto

“Very few dancers since Hijikata Tatsumi have taken more fully to heart the dictum of butoh to critically examine your self, ethnicity, and even your own artistic practice than Michael Sakamoto. Sometimes treading in Hijikata’s very footsteps, Sakamoto has delved into the complexity and created fictionality of his Japanese American identity. This journey is simultaneously an attempt at defining, critiquing, and empowering the dance form butoh so that it can continue to be at the center of our global attempts to negotiate the ever-present crises facing humanity, just as it was at the center of Hijikata’s efforts to face the maelstrom of postwar Japan.”

—Bruce Baird, professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Perspectives on Korean Dance I Judy Van Zile

“Perspectives on Korean Dance surpasses other volumes in range and depth. …Perspectives on Korean Dance unquestionably is a major contribution to the available English-language resources on Korean dance and Culture …Perspectives on Korean Dance is an impressive accomplishment and a landmark contribution to extant materials. It is a volume that should be included in any collection dealing with Korean culture and dance specifically and East Asian dance in general.”

—Richard Nichols, Penn State University, Asian Theatre Journal

Sensational Knowledge I Tomie Hahn

“This book is clear, well-organized, and written in a quietly diligent voice Hahn evokes her teachers and fellow students with clarity and obvious respect. She deftly interweaves personal anecdote, examples of lessons observed during fieldwork, socio-historical context, ethnographic theory, and dance theory.”

—SanSan Kwan, Dance Research Journal

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