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Date(s): Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Basha, Old Main (view map)
Type(s): Craft Talk, Presentation
Genre and Form(s): Experimental, Hybrid, Mixed Genre, Poetry
Don Mee Choi’s Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) is an intense embodiment of some of the most challenging values in contemporary American poetry: she uses archival photographs of the wars in Korea and Vietnam (many taken by her father, a photojournalist and a central figure in the book), her own childhood drawings, Korean words in ideograms, Korean words in transliterated English spellings (to mean what they mean in Korean and/or what their transliterations mean in English), nursery rhymes, librettos with stage directions, advertisements, newsreel voiceovers, and more. The poems sometimes partake of what we’ve come to call documentary poetics and other times they make use of strategies from L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poetry; sometimes they are absurdist word machines; sometimes they offer gloriously complex metaphorical explorations or sudden lyric intimacies. This session will identify what the risks are that Choi takes, and also what are the rewards her book offers in its theater of history and flowers? How can your own poems benefit from a long immersion in the wild strategic imagination of this brainy—sometimes childlike, sometimes darkly comic—poet?