kaya publishes books of the asian pacific diaspora

✚Other Authors

Ishle Yi Park

Ishle Yi Park’s writings have appeared in numerous publications, including New American Writing, Beacon Best Writers of All Colors 2001, and The Best American Poetry of 2003. She has performed in the United States, Cuba and Korea, and was a featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. In April 2004, she was named Poet Laureate of Queens, N.Y.



The Temperature of This Water

Kaya Press 2004

Ishle Park’s debut collection of poetry heralds the arrival of an exciting, vital new voice in poetry. In The Temperature of This Water, Park samples the climates of Rikers Island and Cheju Island, New York and Korea, to present an unflinching, meticulously detailed view of lives cracked open as much by love as they are by overwork, violence, and racism. Sharp street wit and a sensual attention to detail give vivid, palpable form to the lovers and criminals, mothers and gangsters who live behind the closed doors of New York immigrant life. Within each poem lies a story; within each story lies a whole community waiting to be uncovered. Whether tracing the paths of prisoners meeting girlfriends or Korean comfort women or .44s shot from rooftops in Brooklyn, Park’s passion and uncompromising honesty lay bare the ruined heart of a city still pulsing with light.


“Ishle Yi Park writes with a passionate and distinctive voice and a keen understanding of the intersections between individual and community life. These are poems that needed to be written, and need to be widely read.”
— Kim Addonizio, Author of What Is This Thing Called Love