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10 Questions

10 Questions for Arthur Sze

- By Emily Wojcik

Stopping to catch my breath on a switchback,
I run my fingers along the leaves of a yucca:

each blade curved, sharp, radiating from a core —
in this warmest of Novembers, the dead

push out of thawing permafrost: in a huge
blotch of black ink that now hangs, framed. . . 
—from “Ravine,” from Volume 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2018)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
One of my earliest poems was titled “Li Po.” In the Tang dynasty, Li Po supposedly reached over the side of a boat to embrace the reflection of the full moon on the water and fell in and drowned. The poem I wrote, like many ancient Chinese poems, has no “I” in the poem: it was about being out...


10 Questions

10 Questions for R. Zamora Linmark

- By Emily Wojcik

They fly me in a helicopter
inside a bronze casket that sells
at bestpricedcaskets.com
for twelve grand. . . .
—from "The Dictator En Route to His Burial at the National Heroes’ Cemetery," Volume 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2018)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
One of the first pieces I wrote was a poem called “Portrait of the Artist, Smallkid-Time”, a narrative poem about a poetry contest told from the voice of a Filipino fifth-grader and an immigrant in Hawaii. I wrote it during my first year as a graduate student in University of Hawaii at Manoa. Without my knowledge, my then-mentor, Faye Kicknosway, entered it at the annual AWP Intro-Project Award and was selected by Willow...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Zohra Saed

- By Emily Wojcik

Jalal Abad, once Adinapour,
is the mythic city of shine—
the whim of a Mughal King, Jalaludin Akbar,
known for his fondness for citrus and fountains.
—from “Jalalabad Will Never B JBAD,” from Volume 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2018)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When I was a child, I wrote mini stories on the blank back pages of books I took out from my elementary school library. I didn’t sign my name. Once, I got bold and drew some pictures to go with the stories. These were stories inspired by the Afghan and Uzbek fairy tales my father told me. I got in trouble by my second grade teacher and I got a kind of detention, a gentle one, for vandalizing school property. When I got home, my...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Brandon Shimoda

- By Emily Wojcik

"The first time I visited Domanju, I was ten. I remember a river, black blue and green. I remember a large bell, hanging inside of what looked like the cap of the earth’s largest mushroom. I remember a statue shaped like a prototypical squid. I remember, on top of the squid, another statue, a young girl, holding above her head, as if in offering to the sky, an enormous crane. I remember, on the sidewalk above the river, a young girl and boy, not statues, living, ribbons of every color unraveling from their arms, gathering in colorful piles on the ground."—from “Domanju,” from Volume 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2018)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I wrote a short story when I was six. Here it is in its...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Jane Wong

- By Emily Wojcik

I told the earth to settle back            
            down, to lay deep in its mud
armchair, to soften the static            

from its flaring mouth.
            Can we slow down, tender
those we miss? —from 'A Cosmology," from Volume 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2018)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I can’t remember the storyline, but when I was in the fifth grade, I wrote a serial short story about a bus driver. I remember passing a new chapter to some friends in...


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