Su Hwang (Author)
October 08, 2019
5.3 X 0.6 X 8.5 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author
Su Hwang is a poet, activist, stargazer, and the author of Bodega, which received the 2020 Minnesota Book Award in poetry and was named a finalist for the 2021 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Born in Seoul, Korea, she was raised in New York then called the Bay Area home before transplanting to the Midwest, where she received her MFA from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of the inaugural Jerome Hill Fellowship in Literature, among other honors, she is a teaching artist with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and is the cofounder, with poet Sun Yung Shin, of Poetry Asylum. She currently lives in Minneapolis.
"These poems feel right on time." --Boston Globe "In Su Hwang's intricate debut, the bodega is a vantage point for 'taking stock of these terrible/ hierarchies' of race, privilege and immigration . . . She asks readers to hear rather than understand 'the gibberish/ of anguish' spilling from dislocation and trauma." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "These poems demand to be sounded-out and savored . . . the narrative eye and ear is gentle, encompassing, hypnotic." --The Millions "In this formally dexterous debut, Hwang interrogates language, identity, and cultural inheritance . . . This work succeeds in using the nuances of poetic technique to amplify an already powerful message of cultural identity." --Publishers Weekly "If we are not in denial, to name one life, one narrative, we must name many. This is a responsibility that Su Hwang steps into with elegant care. Her poems in Bodega are observant and cinematic, tracing the ways our many-languaged lives come up against each other in these united states. I've been waiting for a collection like this, difficult and prismatic as it is."--Solmaz Sharif "Su Hwang's poems reenergize our communal memories of family and culture. She weaves story with perception and the result is the emergence of a poet whose instinct raises personal language to a fresh level. This unforgettable book places the poet in the forefront of experience and convinces me that Audre Lorde was correct when she stated, generations ago, that 'poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.'"--Ray Gonzalez "Splashed against a milieu of suspicion, shift, and tumult, these keenly honed narratives--crafted by a poet bristling with unassailable talent--are the testimonies of a child very much within and without a 'home' in the traditional sense. What Su Hwang has done is chronicle a small, utterly necessary life as it stumbles toward its root in a world that both abandons and embraces. You will be pulled relentlessly into these stanzas and you will see yourself here."--Patricia Smith "If, as Wittgenstein posited, words are probes capable of reaching great depths, then Su Hwang's Bodega is a quarry--mining directly into the immigrant heart, the daughter's heart, the American heart. A Barbie is burned and buried 'without pomp or ballyhoo, ' the earth 'slackens, ' to then reveal a 'map of storied constellations, ' and a mother cleans her daughter's ear with a wood pen: 'a / series of tiny / digs.' Real excavation always rends and breaks and works to bring something new into the light. I am grateful for this book, for all of Hwang's illuminations."--Kaveh Akbar "Through the poetry of family and community, the collective and the self, Su Hwang's Bodega delivers an unflinching lyric missive to, and for, the complicated hearts that power a city--those whose voices and lives, beautifully and resolutely rendered, defy dismissal."--Khadijah Queen