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✚Other Authors

Nicholas Wong

Born and educated in Hong Kong, Nicholas Wong received his MFA from City University of Hong Kong and has been a finalist for the New Letters Poetry Award and the Wabash Prize for Poetry. Described as a “firestarter” by Time Out: Hong Kong, he is on the teaching faculty of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

books

Crevasse

Kaya Press 2015

Crevasse, Nicholas Wong’s newest collection of poetry, starts with an epigraph from Maurice Merleau-Ponty that notes the impossibility of observing one’s own physical body and, therefore, the necessity of a “second,” “unobservable” body from which to view one’s own. Crevasse collects poems that seek to uncover the seam connecting these mutually observed and observing bodies. Written in English, Wong’s second language after Cantonese, these meticulously wrought poems achieve a careful de-familiarization of language – its reliance on sound and sense and the painstaking, word-by-word accrual of meaning – to both enact and exemplify the irreducible persistence of the body through illness, dislocated desires, and colonization. Like Samuel Beckett and others before him, Wong has deliberately chosen to write in a non-native language – a decision that frees him to strip down, interrogate, and ultimately reorient the fragmented complexities of the multiple marked communities he inhabits: queer, Asian, Hong Kong native, poet, reader, lover. The results are a stunning array of poems, both lyric and experimental, which seek to lay bare the gap between perfect familiarity and inevitable distance – “The layered self/ on a plate,/ slain by silver-/ware.”

 
praise

“Nicholas Wong’s Crevasse inhabits the fiery crossroads that connect sexuality, masculinity, language, and race—a radical space that challenges the stubbornly trite assumptions about queer and Asian identities. His poems shape a fierce voice—techno savvy and street smart, sophisticated and politically charged—which allows the reading journey to coast from witty to wise, frequently turning the corner into poignant and provocative. What an exhilarating book!”
—Rigoberto González, author of Unpeopled Eden

“The crevasses of Crevasse are geological and anatomical, but Nicholas Wong does not plumb their depths; instead, his openings stay with the edges and aftermaths of feeling. There is a sharpness to these finely witnessed portraits and self-portraits that cuts into the heart all the while invoking the contexts, aesthetic and political, that unsettle the meanings of his words. And these formations and deformations are wrought with so much clarity and such beautiful sounds; this is exciting poetry that teases us with what can and can’t be written about the self, what binds the heart and what breaks it.”
— Josephine Nock-Hee Park, author of Apparitions of Asia: Modernist Form and Asian American Poetics

“Deftly cleft and radically inventive, Nicholas Wong’s Crevasse blows a hole right through our expectation of what contemporary poetry is supposed to look and to sound like, offering us a surprising celebration of and elegy for our disposable, sanctified bodies. Wong anagrams ‘capitalism’ into ‘I am plastic,’ seduces us with ‘jargons that renew the old curve,’ and provides us with “hand-made happiness” that resonates like few new books do. Full of wit, but never glib, spectacularly sexual but never profane, deeply intelligent but never ostentatious, this book is a genuine revelation, providing us with erasures, adaptations and mistranslations that are urgent and essential, and rendered in an unmistakable style, a memorable voice all his own. Nicholas Wong is the future of poetry and with the publication of Crevasse, that future is now.”
— Ravi Shankar, Pushcart Prize winning poet and Founding Editor of Drunken Boat

Nicholas Wong news

Nicholas Wong Wins a LAMBDA!

Currently the Kaya Press office is practically overflowing with champagne and rainbows of confetti upon the announcement that one of our golden geese, Nicholas Wong, has just won a LAMBDA award for his poetry collection, Crevasse! Wong co-won the prestigious award in the category of “Gay Poetry” with author Carl Phillips in a ceremony hosted […]

Nicholas Wong Finalist for Lambda Literary Award

Kaya is excited to congratulate Nicholas Wong! Crevasse is a finalist for the 28th Annual Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. Finalists were chosen from a record 933 submissions (up from 818 last year) from 321 publishers. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on Monday evening, June 6, 2016 in New York City. The […]

CREVASSE Reviewed in AALR

In celebration of Nic Wong‘s birthday (February 3rd), check out this beautiful review of Crevasse that appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of The Asian American Literary Review! “. . . Experimenting with a mixture of humor and pathos, the conceptual and the conversational, Wong circles solitude, the emotion perhaps best understood through invocations of absence. There is the impression a […]

Catching up with Nic Wong: Holiday Haiku and Hong Kong’s #LitinColor

We recently interviewed Nicholas Wong, author of Crevasse, for our December issue of our newsletter. Check out his insights into the translation process, identifying as a “global poet,” what #LitinColor means in Hong Kong. What context—if any—would you give to readers before they delve into Crevasse? Especially for those who may not typically read poetry, how […]

 
 
 

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