Talking About What We Don’t Talk About: Roundtable with Eunsong Kim, Amy King, Lucas de Lima, Hoa Nguyen, Héctor Ramírez, Metta Sáma, Nikki Wallschlaeger

Ntozake Shange
“The quiet confidences, to me, are indicative of a larger understanding at play in the poetry world, and Lehman is only one example of such ‘powerhouses’ who seem to take advantage of that power boldly and blatantly.”
“Whisper campaigns, hit jobs, passive aggressive and aggressive treatments–carried out by poets who feel they can single me out with cruelty because I’m a woman of color and not Ivy league. I’ve experienced this keenly.”
“So I’ve learned I’m going to have to carve my own way in poetry, because I’m not going to compromise my own voice–I mean it’s mine after all. So I took the tools I learned about form and made them work for me.”
“…we’re not asking for the gatekeepers to find the two writers of color that for whatever reason, cannot disagree with the premise of the project, agrees with the premise of the project, or are not positions to reject ‘inclusion.’
In such cases, mirroring the structural establishment in place, people of color are brought in to uphold hegemony—this is neoliberalism, which is fundamentally multicultural (this is Rod Ferguson’s argument). They exist not to interrupt whiteness but to protect it.”
” I wish to say this again, now in the present tense: the members of the US-American avant-garde care more about their careers than they do about the memory of Michael Brown.”
“I dont want a career in this terrible amalgamation of literature and higher education if it means not only that I’d have to work with racist assholes (what line of work is free of them, after all?) but also that I’d likely have to defend these assholes with my brown body just to fight over their scraps with other people like me (or else, try to keep my head down, bite my tongue, clench my fists, and ignore the assholes as best I can while still keeping my job and my name and my dignity intact). Nah. I want to carve my own way too.”

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Posted in Featured Blogger on Monday, August 31st, 2015 by Amy King.


AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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