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10 Questions

10 Questions for Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

- By Abby MacGregor

While Professor Jeong explains a poet

should work with farmers to write of harvest,

you recall 195 kilometers away Professor Kim

said there’s no poetry in the north.
—from “Northern Korea Postcard”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)

 

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
As a child growing up in Oklahoma, I developed an ear for prosody by reading Best Loved Poems of the American People, an anthology tucked in between my mother’s cosmetology textbooks. Later, on a Tandy 2000 Radio Shack computer, I tried my hand at imitating what I read in that anthology. But my first serious poem was “Terms for Adoption,” a poem in two voices braiding and juxtaposing the...


10 Questions

10 Questions for Alicia Upano

- By Abby MacGregor

“She is a beacon in the dark night, dressed from nape to heel in white. Standing at the threshold, she is a study in contrasts: her black hair blunt against her chin, the ivory of piano keys, while her red lips take shape to mouth the name of a friend inside. The bar is closed and it’s well past curfew. It is January 1942. A few miles west, the Pearl Harbor shipyard remains aglow with destruction. Battleships will burn for months.”
—from “Ada, After the Bomb”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)
 

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I made a book in first grade with construction paper and that felt like magic. My father said, around this time, that I would cross into oncoming traffic with...


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...


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