“I am led by the ear and compose through the verbomotor pleasure of saying syllables out loud before I write. I’ve lived as a trilingual person within diglossic or triglossic Anglophone milieus, in India and Singapore. And perhaps this is why I’ve always imagined the poet’s mouth as a kind of theater, constantly dealing with […]
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“Because before my body took its place in the phenotypic parade (my appearance as South Asian), before my name took its place in the bureaucratic queue (citizenship documents, passports, visas), before I was called a darkie in grad-school, before I came to identify as an illiterate Tamilian, I first claimed an Anglophone “I.” That lean and inky bridge from self to self, from inchoate cry to speech, from subject to object (and back) is built at the recitative scene in a decolonizing India. ”
An essay on bilingualism, mother-tongues, postcolonial relation to documentary poetics, and learning to decolonize illiteracy (as identity). With nods to the work of Hugo Garcia Manriquez, Moez Surani, Solmaz Sharif, M. NourbeSe Philip, with illustrations by the intuitive Karin Aue. Published by The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, this is an expanded approach to the text first delivered as the 2018 Annual Rachel Blau DuPlessis Lecture in Poetics at Temple University.
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“This monumental work shifts shapes, not for virtuosity’s sake—though virtuosic it is—but as one takes up an array of instruments for an intricate undertaking. Quandary: How not to ‘become a jingle of anklets’ the colonizer desires? Perhaps by being a jangle of them. Kith is that dissonance composed; it sounds bitter, tender, and utterly necessary.” —Douglas Kearney
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UPCOMING EVENTS SPRING 2019 JANUARY 3 // CHICAGO, IL MLA Annual Convention JANUARY 18 // DENVER, CO University of Denver APRIL 11 // MADISON, WI University of Wisconsin Madison, Felix Reading Series. APRIL 30 // COLORADO SPRINGS, CO Colorado College, Visiting Writers Series MAY 3 // CHICAGO, IL University of Chicago, Contemporary Migrations: Poetics, Theory, […]
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“Victor’s poems present back onto us the processes of our modern world, stripping them bare, rid of all affect. They are meticulous, subversive, and razor-sharp.”
– Michael Nardone, editor, Hobo Magazine, Jacket2, Amodern
“If Victor’s writing sounds harrowing—it is. But it is also terrifically magnetic, glowing with intelligence, elegance, and control.”
– Sueyeun Juliette Lee, in The Constant Critic
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