The Poetry Society of America Presents: A Tribute to the Poet Ai

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-19 19:06Z by Steven

The Poetry Society of America Presents: A Tribute to the Poet Ai

Proshansky Auditorium
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue (at 34th Street)
New York, New York 10016
Monday, 2015-10-19 19:00 EDT (Local Time)


In light of the poet’s unexpected passing in 2010 and in celebration of her Collected Poems (Norton, 2012), the PSA has teamed up with the Academy of American Poets, Cave Canem Foundation, Graduate Center for the Humanities, CUNY, Kundiman, and Poets House to present this memorial tribute. Nine distinguished contemporary poets—Timothy Donnelly, Rigoberto González, Tyehimba Jess, Patricia Spears Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, Timothy Liu, Sapphire, and Susan Wheeler—will read from Ai’s work, and House of Cards actor Eisa Davis will perform a selection of Ai’s well-known dramatic monologues.

Admission is free.

For more information, click here.

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The Collected Poems of Ai

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2014-05-08 19:42Z by Steven

The Collected Poems of Ai

W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
February 2013
464 pages
6.6 × 9.6 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-393-07490-1


With an Introduction by:

Yusef Komunyakaa, Global Distinguished Professor of English
New York University

Before her untimely death in 2010, Ai, known for her searing dramatic monologues, was hailed as “one of the most singular voices of her generation” (New York Times Book Review). Now for the first time, all eight books by this essential and uniquely American poet have been gathered in one volume.

from “The Cockfighter’s Daughter”

I found my father,
face down, in his homemade chili
and had to hit the bowl
with a hammer to get it off,
then scrape the pinto beans
and chunks of ground beef
off his face with a knife.

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Ai, a Steadfast Poetic Channel of Hard Lives, Dies at 62

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2012-10-13 15:10Z by Steven

Ai, a Steadfast Poetic Channel of Hard Lives, Dies at 62

The New York Times

Margalit Fox

The prominent American poet Ai, whose work — known for its raw power, jagged edges and unflinching examination of violence and despair — stood as a damning indictment of American society, died on March 20 in Stillwater, Okla. She was 62 and lived in Stillwater.

The cause was pneumonia, a complication of previously undiagnosed cancer, said Carol Moder, head of the English department at Oklahoma State University, where Ai had taught since 1999.

Born Florence Anthony, the poet legally changed her name to Ai, which means love in Japanese, as a young woman. She received a National Book Award in 1999 for “Vice: New and Selected Poems,” published that year by W. W. Norton & Company.

Her other books include “Sin” (1986), “Fate” (1991), “Greed” (1993) and “Dread” (2003). A posthumous volume, “No Surrender,” is to be published by Norton in September…

…Though Ai’s work was determinedly not autobiographical, its concern with disenfranchised people was informed, she often said, by her own fractional heritage. Many poems could be read as biting dissertations “On Being 1/2 Japanese, 1/8 Choctaw, 1/4 Black, and 1/16 Irish,” as the title of a 1978 essay she wrote in Ms. magazine put it. (The proportions are telling, too, for not quite adding up to a complete person.)…

…Florence Anthony was born in 1947 in Albany, Tex., and reared mostly in Arizona by her mother and stepfather. For years her biological father’s identity was kept from her. She later learned, as she wrote in an autobiographical essay in the reference work Contemporary Poets, that “I am the child of a scandalous affair my mother had with a Japanese man she met at a streetcar stop.”…

Read the entire obituary here.

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Special Issue: Mixed Heritage Asian American Literature

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2012-10-12 02:38Z by Steven

Special Issue: Mixed Heritage Asian American Literature

Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies
Volume 3 (2012): Special Issue: Mixed Heritage Asian American Literature

Table of Contents

Read the entire issue here.

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