Monstrous Poetry

Kenji Liu Is Using Frankenstein As A Metaphor For Toxic Masculinity

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
FROM: Bitch Media

KenjiKenji Liu and I enter a tea shop on Las Tunas Drive in an area that feels like the epicenter of the boba tea shop movement in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley. K-pop plays over the speakers while a worker noisily fixes a hole in the ceiling, and Liu and I have to raise our voices in order to discuss Monsters I Have Been, his new collection of sci-fi–inspired poems that uses the figure of Frankenstein’s monster as a way to reflect on toxic masculinity. But though our location isn’t an ideal place to record an interview, after immersing myself in Monsters’ mix of languages, pop-culture references, and chopped-up texts, I wanted to meet in a location that has a similarly busy vibrance.

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Endeavor: An Interview with Cynthia Guardado

by Therese Marie Konopelski
FROM: Letras Latinas Blog

AuthorPhoto_NevadaEndeavor is a tender and sorrowful work, opening old scars and healing them with love and retrospective wisdom. There is a respectful and appropiate sense of nostalgia that permeates the narrative; for Inglewood, CA before gentrification, for innocence, and freedom of days gone by. It does not grieve, rather it treats Latinidad, womanhood, and abuse survivors with compassion and understanding. Guardado offers sincere meditations on injustices that affect women every day. Ultimately, the reader is renewed, and finds a sense of freedom in remembering these lived scars.

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Pocha and Proud: An Interview With Sarah Borjas

Brenda Delfino interviews Sara Borjas      FROM: LARB

20190415_224157Poems can be windows. They can also be doors. These are truths to prescribe to while reading Sara Borjas debut  poetry collection Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff. A window can work as an enterence, can mirror the reflection of someone familiar. In her poem “Lies I Tell,” previously published by the Academy of America Poets, Borjas writes,

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Watts Poetic

In 1967, the Watts Prophets arose from the ashes of the Riots to offer a voice for the voiceless. Over a half-century later, Amde Hamilton is still creating change.

By Sam Ribakoff
FROM: TheLAnd

WattsThere used to be a lot more trees on this stretch of 103rd Street, but most of them were cut down so police helicopters could watch Watts’ residents from the sky. Amde Hamilton, 78 years old, still moves down these streets that he grew up on with a glide you can imagine him having in the late ‘60s, when he formed the Watts Prophets with Otis O’Solomon and Richard Dedeaux.

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In Search of Evanescence: A Conversation with Michelle Brittan Rosado

By Feroz Rather
FROM: The Southeast Review

downloadBorn in San Francisco and raised in Vacaville, Michelle Brittan Rosado earned an MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno, and is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing & Literature at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Why Can’t It Be Tenderness, which won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018). Her chapbook, Theory on Falling into a Reef, won the inaugural Rick Campbell Prize (Anhinga Press, 2016). Her poems have been published in the Alaska Quarterly ReviewIndiana ReviewPoet LoreSan Francisco Chronicle’s “State Lines” column, and The New Yorker, as well as several anthologies.

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Healing through Writing, featuring Francesca Lia Block

From: Write Minded

francesca-blockIn this episode of Write Minded: Weekly Inspiration for Writers, Grant and Brooke explore with guest, Los Angeles native and writer, Francesca Lia Block, author of The Thorn Necklace, how writing is healing and oftentimes therapeutic. Today’s episode is about the feeling side of writing—and how touching into that both unlocks deeper places in a person’s writing and has the ability (at least some of the time) to set writers free from their angst and doubts and any lingering messages that might get lobbed at them by their inner critics. If you’ve ever wondered if writing has the power to heal, tune in.

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Louise Steinman: In Her Own Words

by Adam Leipzig
From: Cultural Weekly

Louise-Steinman-1020x500Since her abrupt firing on August 27, former ALOUD director Louise Steinman has mostly been quiet. She declined to comment for the media, and did not seek press attention. Meantime, the Library Foundation issued a series of statements and hired a new director of public programs.

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