18 Burst results for "Cathy Park Hong"
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Still Processing
"Like this is new and i got pretty drunk and There is one hedge fund manager. Who's crane american. And i you know. Very wealthy has property in the hamptons and the upper east side. In what have you. And i was working on The united ed's essay so asian american self hatred was on my mind and i was just taking a poll with of the people who were there her asian and then i went up to this hedge funder and i asked him. Who's more salt hating. Women or men asian men or women and he answered that question right away he said men and i said why and he said because everyone wants asian women white man latinos black man it all want asian women whereas no one wants asian net. No one you know. We're just like no one desires asian men but you know what they're more of us who are getting into ivy league schools than anyone else and sunday. We're going to be more powerful than jewish people which also shocked me and so that was an outtake. That was supposed to be in the book that i ended up taking out because my editor didn't want that in there because they were afraid that that scene would be representative of all asian american men. When it's not true. I only met one asian-american man like that. I was thinking about that. I was thinking about how a racial hatred especially when it reaches the libido your sexuality can be so always miss that it makes you go to the dark side right it makes you prove yourself in a cruel liberal economy and you become used by and figure for it the way this guy is doing but it's an ongoing struggle. It's a workout. Think of it as a workout fully. Kathy oh my god thank you for coming and talking us. We're so grateful for you and for your generosity invulnerability and just your mind. Thank you for giving us so much time today. Really meant so much thank you. It was so fun and regrets and stood. You know i learned so.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Still Processing
"Kathy i would love to talk with you a little bit more about language which i know you think about all the time and has a poet. There's this great part in minor feelings re talk about slitting open. The belly of english and seeing the bloody dark histories of imperialism fallout that was so evocative to me and reading. Your book has really prompted me to think so much more about english as default backdrop for all of our actions and what it means to interrogate this fundamental landscape that we traverse every single day. Yeah and situating that against this backdrop of all of the reckonings upheavals of this last year that have sought to upend everything from major cultural institutions. I mean even the criterion collection. You know just thinking about the archive thinking about our day to day. Lives and our actions. I mean we're in a place of just deep. Interrogations and language is just one of the infrastructure that i am so excited to see us engage with a little bit more. Yes yes definitely as a poet. I've always been interested in interrogating materiality of english itself. And i've always had a keen chat to poetry really push the english language to its limits acquiring it twerking. Caliban izing it. It's poets who come from colonized who are descendants of people who've been colonized and were english has been imposed on them or immigrants were english imposed on them. Take that language and then they tear it up and throughout minor feelings. Like what i try to do is find the beast threads you know Artistic threads political threads that connect black indigenous latinos and asians korea for instance like english is very fraud. You know so. Much of korean languages in using a lot of these There's so many english loan words now. And if you not go back to the movie parasite go after parasite and listen to the way the The upper class family talks from notice. That they'd like really kinda emphasized. English words that the kind of sprinkly miami gingrich's status is status. You know pondering says like we accepted each. We all live under one nation now and capitalism and this is like an english is that language of global capitalism and and so forth but like what can we do to push back against that. And that's why. I think in whiting is just so important. Especially since like you know with the internet and Social media like all of that you know. The digital capitalism is flattening english streamlining conforming and taking the body out of english taking tongues out of english speaking our cultures out of out of the words. I mean you have this moment in the book where you essentially surmised that seamless. The food delivery service is essentially invented so that we don't have to hear the voices of immigrants right like it exists to flatten out that great tension among the languages that right at That exists in a place like new york city or los angeles. Or you know. Texas florida and you know english sort of being the hegemonic way that we all communicate it also is meant is like subjugate other people And lock them out of the language through commerce. Yeah i totally agreed that. I think like what we're seeing especially during the pandemic is how a kind of english that we accept and are getting accustomed to is English his service of efficiency you know or communication in the service of efficiency and so that is cutting out the huge immigrant population and people who come from immigrant populations where they have are more can or beautiful experience with english. And it's so different like what you'd find on social media obviously have been like what you see when you're walking around cape town. Aa or flexing. Or where you know. English is in There's so many different beautiful musical inflections of the english language. But the problem with that english like the you know the chinese Delivery person is that you have to slow down. You have to slow down and understand you have to be there and you have to kind of Be willing to be patient to understand what other people are saying in an accident. You are not accustomed to which we as capitals culture is not willing to be patient for so I mean it really speak so much to how much our capitalist culture is created by a very small subset of white grows in silicon valley because they have decided that that is an inconvenience that language. That doesn't conform to some pristine. Senator of english isn't inconvenienced like it's reducing those interactions with seen as efficient because it was an inconvenience so that mindset and it doesn't leave any room for us to yet bump up against each other. It's like this is why we have to burn silicon valley now Why i'm still angry about the fact that these like wait. Men who have very low emotional cues have taken over and decided how society should be run. And how we should communicate with each other like how how how. How are we to this And we have to try to find ways to do this because what's happening. Through this kind of commerce values efficiency over actual interpersonal engagement is that we are isolated each other. It's causing a lot of. I think the racism racist kagan assumes now and You know it's creating more distant kathy. There's a part in the book that it's kind of early on but it kind of stopped me dead in my tracks and you're talking about coming to understand yourself and that it's been really hard to shake the desire for approval and people pleasing and appealing to whiteness. And it's something. I think about all the time because it's work that's never really finished and i'm always amazed at waking up and finding yet another way to lake workout the anti blackness that's lodged itself within my own body and my own brain that i thought ben purged and i'm just so interested in in your process as a as a thinker and his opponent as a writer of of trying to exercise the way. Whiteness convinces us. That we are the problem. Or the pathology one of that work. Look like for you You know you use the term workout. And i think it's also bringing us that is actively physical exercise. I mean it is. I mean it's a workout right. It's every day it's daily. It's like i say this all the time That dealing with are addressing any kind of internalized racism that you've had it's not a one time regulation because the problem with living. In a white dominated structure economic structure is that actually it's not just economic. It's also so deeply embedded that it's in our sex drive in our death drive. It's unconscious and i wanted to just give you the example And why felt really felt. This need to write this book. But i remember i went to a party For this writer and There were actually hedge fund managers. There i have never never hung out with hedge fund managers talk.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Still Processing
"By you need both you need rage joy play and also of course need silence to think And mike personally. I've always found my rage to be really clarifying because i trust that instinct. Like i'm feeling that raged for a reason. Because i'm being lied to and i've been lied to all my life and i expected to just sit without lie and except that lie and are not going to do that anymore. rage was always an emotion that i never actually felt uncomfortable using. I want to kind of give that to others. Other asian americans other people other women who have felt pent up a and always felt uncomfortable. Doing that I'm also career cruiser. Very angry people. I was gonna ask you to korean of your anger. And how and how you manage it. I manage you i. I'm going to get in trouble with a lot of koreans. like how. dare you centralize us. We are not the same. Also let me talk about it historically politically. I come from a culture like the first time i smelled tear. Gas was in seoul. For the first time i saw right policemen beating up students was in salt and the first time i saw students like protesting Imperialism and capitalism in anti americanism also in seoul and that was when i was like eighteen and nineteen. And that is my history. It's at long decades decades for democratic struggle that koreans have had to fight the string of dictators who ruled south korea for many years. Where the american backache so. There's a long history of struggle in my ethnicity that i value. That is why that also ballots my rage to you know that my rage has history. My rage has ancestry. It's not You know coming from social media rates..
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Still Processing
"Who are we now. Well who are we bringing in. And i've been thinking a lot about in the last few years the embrace of of yellow as a concept to perhaps if it's not to complicate this black and brown versus white binary than it's at least two like to try to find a way to be recognized as being on a spectrum. Yeah but what does how does yellow function in your ideology for one. And then maybe even in your yourself understanding for another. It's a weird term. It sounds outdated right like it. Was you know p- in seeing it come back. Probably as a reaction to the fact that the victim who are targeted is basically anyone who looks east. Asian who or east asian or look Just looks chinese or whatever and so that yellow has been coming back but it was retired. I don't know exactly when. I'm not an historian. Here not really sure when yellow was retired as a term but it was used a lot in the late sixties. And i believe in the seventies and somewhere along the way people stopped using it and then what was became. Ascendant was a brown right. And it's also really weird because i'm east asian. I can't say i'm brown right and This is one argument. I heard from my desi friends. Which is that brown became ascendant. after nine. Eleven way for a south asians and muslims to have some kind of solid dirty the house solidarity with a latino people these immigrants who have been affected by the border and exclusion and so forth. But it's all of these terms are just really awkward. Yeah like what is who exactly is brown. But then it's also weird to say black brown and asian american. I'm like well but Which are brown thank you. Yeah it's frustratingly inexact. And i just want to avoid it altogether. I don't know but i'm not one to argue. I'm like i'll say bypass if you wanna see bipasha. I will use bypass but i. I think that's also awkward to but very awkward americans wanted to exxon demise if activists wanted taxonomy as a reaction to white people. Taxonomy izing us find a hole through. But i don't feel comfortable with any of these terms yellow. i don't love it but api i think. Is that what. I find the most comfortable i think. Just in terms of the number of syllables. It's just it does sound sort of. Us census bureau doesn't not. I don't know a for convenience to yeah. It's not you know we need a different. We need some new names. Yes i just want to pivot a little bit in this other direction and talk about what your gear has been like. I don't want to speak for your experience but it seems to me as a consumer of media that you have been tasked with being a spokesperson for asian americans. And i'm i've been really curious about what that experience has been like for you. Like what kind of disqualifier is do you have to offer before you speak. Where is the fatigue in your body because it's also exhausting to be someone that's a soothsayer for a bull. Oh my god. I have to say look i. I'm a poet. I wanna remind everyone As you were saying that when you said a voice the qualifiers are just piling up in my head as you were saying it Keep in mind when i wrote this book. It came out before the pandemic before the spike and anti asian aches and i was catapulted into this role. And i think i have a whole new respect or lack. The teen public intellectuals and writers were kind of positioned in this kind of public rules constantly to kind of speak for people. I am not like a you know a spokesperson. I think at this point the position that i'm most comfortable being is listening night. I just wanna listen. You know other people will. What are you hearing in that listening. So far I think it's been interesting for This cedar because you had sort of this reports of anti asians dent's and then you had george floyd and black lives matter during the summer and then This spring we've been hearing more. You know the atlanta massacre and so forth so i think you know it was important for a lot of these activists in a lot of these. Each americans do not separate that these these movements and the pain but tried to kind of find a way to lock arms. I do think though as much as there's a lot of hurt there's a lot of pain there's also a lot of rage you know. I think there's there's a lot of unfiltered rage that i personally have not encountered in my lifetime. You know the asian americans i know are just angry. And they're speaking up and they're they're on it and i have tremendous respect for them. You know it's it's i think are most rage. Full moments can sometimes also with a little bit of introspection feel like our most shameful moments but they're also are most instructive moments because the rage that comes when you really sit with how this country is convinced all of us that we are know we have the pathologies like we are the one room better deficient. And were being gaslight like the the joke is on all of us you know the trick is on all of us and the more angry we can be about that together. The more the possibility for something interesting uncork in the same way that. I think you know i want us to think about movements built from rage in the same way we think about movements built from joy like these two kind of similar spectrum places of just like total absolute all encompassing feeling that while we all expressed in different ways. But what i'm trying to really get to is. I'm so curious about your experience leaning into that rage and finding such a comfortable resting place in it. Because i think there's a lot to learn from that. Thank you for that. I i agree. I think like what's very healing in terms of building solidarity and bringing communities together is a is that you need rage but you also need during.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Still Processing
"Cathy. park hong. Welcome to still processing high. It was a pleasure reading this book. it was a pleasure having you in my brain and my heart for two hundred and three pages and thank you for having made this just so so to be hanging with you guys. We couldn't kick his bread carpet out far enough. We figure before we talk about all the things that are happening in this book and the world and with you we'd ask you just read from a little bit of it. If you wouldn't mind share. I i will read a passage That starts at the bottom of page. Twenty eight the writer jeff. Chang writes that. I want to love us but he says that he can't bring himself to do that because he doesn't know who us is. I share that uncertainty. Who is us. What is us is there. Even such a concept adds an asian american consciousness. is it anything like the double consciousness. That w e b boys established over a century ago. The paint on asian american label has not dried. The term is unwieldy cumbersome perched awkwardly upon my being since late sixties when asian. American activists protested with the black panthers. There hasn't been a mass movement. We can call our own. Will we a pronoun i use consciously solidify into a common collective or will we remain splintered so that some of us remain foreign or brown while others through wealth or intermarriage pass into whiteness. Amen i guess the first place to start with that. Is this question that w e boys raises you know more than a century ago about what it means to be a black person. In the united states of america you are on the one hand black. And you're on the other hand. American and the question is not so much how you make those two identities cohere but what you do like how you live with dual consciousness essentially and in having an asian identity form or be placed upon you as you put it. How do you think that consciousness is working for you. The double consciousness This question who is us. What is us that question popped up for me halfway through writing this book and then finally i realized i guess i'm trying to answer that question myself. Who is us. What is us and in thinking about that. I'm thinking is there an asian american consciousness and in thinking about being asian american. I don't want to ride the coattails of what black thinkers have formulated for black consciousness. But i do think that there is some commonality. you know. it's a commonality. That's not limited to asian americans but also probably a latina muslims or anyone who's In marginalized position in a white dominant country. Which is that you do. Have this double consciousness where you are able to see yourself from an oppressed perspective and as oppressors perspective that kind of dual consciousness. It could be harmful because if if it's not addressed or not reckoned with and it turns into racial self hatred right because you're seeing yourself. The way oppressors c. Which a lot of asian americans hab including myself have had this internalized racism but if it is confronted and addressed then it could be a source of empowerment and wisdom where you probably have the empathy to know more about how this country works or you know or the way power functions in this country. So i think there's something shared their you know. I do think one of the brighter spots in terms of the conversations that are being had in recent weeks in the aftermath of figuring out collectively how to respond to the spike in anti-asian violence and how to show up in solidarity after in the aftermath of atlanta massacre. You know i think this conversation. Around what asian american is and is in has been so fortifying to witness and there's a part in the graph just read that says the paint on the asian american label has not dried. And i'm thinking so much about you. Know for the sake of convenience like so many narratives at necessities and histories are compressed and condensed into the asian american label. And it's still evolving and it still involves you know wealth and thinking about semi to whiteness in a way that i just. I don't know that i've ever seen such a wide variety of nuanced conversations and rebellions against that identity label. I guess i'm just wondering. Does that feel like a new outgrowth of this moment and this wave of reckoning and i guess awakening around what it means to be asian american. And the us. yes definitely. And i would say with all racial identifiers you know it's race is always constantly evolving. You know the way whiteness evolves as well and with my book i wanted to I had two aims one was what was my perspective as a second-generation create american on asian american level but also what was my perspective about this country as an asian american. So you know i think. doesn't get emphasized in the book enough that this book is also about america. It's about america from someone you don't really hear from that much and personally i think i might have more wisdom about america than say Some so i you know. I don't have to just be the voice of asia america. I could be the voice of america. Why the voice of america exactly but going back to your question about Asian american there have been is like narrative plentitude of different voices from all different regions and class and so forth but unfortunately they just don't get hurt. They were always there. They just did get heard now. I think what my book does amplifies that and says pay attention. Pay attention to us. And i'm just hoping that there will be more even more of that. You know asian. Americans which have been tragically reduced and flattened will open up to this more cacophony of different voices. But along those lines. We are still in this country that needs to taxonomy is ray and the thing about view s. That's that's unique. Is that a lot of people arrived here. They don't know about the binary you have to learn. We have two parties. we have two races. And which poll do you fix herself to or identify with or strive toward a and. This is all to say that. I'm really fascinated by as a black person. The terminology that gets a fixed to us and the terminology we resist and and take back and reinvent. I have never been comfortable with the conflation of black and brown people as a phrase. I don't know who the brown people are like..
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Still Processing
"Hello wesley hello jenna. So a few weeks ago we decided to do something on the show that we have never done before but always wanted to do which is read a book and this year. We chose minor feelings in asian american reckoning by the poet and author and cultural critic. Cathy park hong. So now that we're done reading the book we're gonna talk about it a little bit. And then we're gonna talk to kathy but wesley. Do you remember why we pick this book in the first place. I think what we wanted to do was try to think about what's been happening in this country for the last fifteen months since the pandemic started and there seemed to be this uptick partially driven by the president's association of the corona virus with china but also this longstanding tension between asians and america. Right and this idea that they're not american and the ways in which those problems manifest themselves through violence and hate speech. One of the reasons to talk about. This book is what cathy park. Hong doing in it is is is truly reckoning with asian american identity and she isn't the first person to attempt to do it but there was something urgent in her writing. There's a real simmering rage here that it just was. I don't want to say it's pleasurable experience. But there's there is some adding onto pleasure in it because it matched my own. Yeah yeah. I mean it's worth noting. This book was finished way before any of this started happening. And yet it's a book that is so right timed for right now and in the wake of watching the anti asian sentiment spike in this country and thinking about how to show up in solidarity thinking about how to reckon with the difficult feelings around the individual attacks are happening in this country being perpetuated by black people and what to do with that and how to still make fight intersectional despite the discomfort a big part of my desire was to fill in my own knowledge gaps and refresh. You know what. I either misremembered or didn't know about just the experience of a lot of asian people in asian american people in this country and so cathy's book is one piece of that puzzle for me right Also in that same period of time did a bystander intervention training. That was just really useful. And it's been really interesting to really see these attacks in the sentiment as just part of a much bigger campaign of oppression white supremacy in. I mean it's worth noting to that cathy's book represents kathy's experience it is station perspective and east asian american perspective and the book. Kathy does grapple with working class communities. She is acknowledging the vast diaspora that is pan. Asian is right. I mean asia is a huge landmass and includes everything from pakistan to the philippines. And so when we talk about asian american anything asian anything. We're including so many people. I mean you know for us in this country don't confuse chesapeake bay blackness with california blackness. Because let me tell you something the same. It's just been really instructive to remember the compression. That's happened in the name of organizing and thinking about what that conveniences four and just remembering there so many nuances in the mris and the narratives and the stories that people are bringing. Yeah i mean listen. I'm always bring back this rainbow. Coalition fred hampton. So for me. It's just like activating this idea of where our shared solidarity's can be productive rate and thrive and honestly what we're talking about is care caring about each other's experiences so before we talked to kathy. I mean i should also say generally for the last couple of weeks people have been sending me notes and coming up to me and saying you know on the street in their masks that they are reading this book. And that's heartening Because i think there really is a hunger to hear from people who because of the way this country has been set up and whose voice. It's prioritized we don't hear from asian-americans very often and there is a real pent up. Demand for hearing people speak about what their experiences have been like. I love hearing. You say that. Because look i i keep thinking about last summer. How so many people order their anti raises reading books and never picked them up. And i'm so sorry those people you know y'all are missing out your performative. Actions are not welcome here and this has just been such an incredible way too. I think show solidarity and also really lean into the gray space that exists between the black white binary that dominates all of the conversations about race in this country. Which of course we understand why. I'm really leaning into the old black american proverb. You know you can't do better and so you know better and we are always in a place of trying to know better so we can do better and i feel really grateful for everyone who has showed up to do this journey with us. It feels amazing and is just one piece of action of.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on The Poetry Magazine Podcast
"cathy park hong" Discussed on It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders
"You mean by that when you say it's flattened. Well i would say that. Asian americans at this point like it's not even exact it's less than identity than more like a coalition of different nationalities classes genders sexualities. Y- know a lot of people when they think asian they think chinese or they think model minority. They think like chinese engineer. Who works in silicon valley or something or they think of look at asian news anchorwoman or something and when you have everyone. From the chinese-american. American engineer who works in silicon valley to someone who's mung who lives in minnesota and who lives in the projects alongside other black americans you know. So there's there's such a such a wide display of what asian american is and. I have to be very clear about this. It's also the book is also about this country from the perspective of an asian american woman. This book is not just about my identity. But it's also about the kind of changing demographic of this nation and the future of this nation and someone who's part of that and what someone from this growing demographic thinks about this country you know say in the book that in twenty fifty the majority will be people of color that what does that mean and and this is why. I don't want us asians to read this book. I want everyone to read this book as you can read it too. Yeah one of the parts of the book that really really opened. My eyes was the work you did to point out. The racialized history of asians in america. I think part of the flattening of asian identity happens because most americans don't know the history of asians in this country you know before i read this book. I didn't know that. Chinese people were brought into america to replace slaves in the plantation field. After the civil war. I don't know it's red. Yeah in the book writing. That i didn't know the way in which us immigration policy kinda helped create the myth of asians as a model. And i read it in your book you know. What does it say about all of us or about the american experiment. That so much of this history of asians in america is a racist i. There's a big reckoning that this country has to face and so far. The history that i learned in when i was in high school was a history. That was i. Don't wanna say jingoistic. But that did it was gig aspect completely whitewashed even slavery. I didn't even know. Even the beginning of how. This country was founded on black death slavery. Dispossession there was no. There was no learn about asian americans in highschool. I didn't read asian americans in high school. It was. I had to seek it out in college. You know a lot of americans. Also don't know about asian american activism and how the term asian american was actually coined in the late nineteen sixties by these uc berkeley activists who are also inspired by the black power movement and The vietnam war protest movement and that part of history can also just motivate asians. We don't come from a model minority history but a that is a lot of that is a race you know. And i think it's what people don't know about model minority is that it's very much an engineered stereotype. This is the thing you blew my mind when you wrote that. Explain that for our listeners. Okay so from the chinese exclusion act around. the eighteen. Eighties was the first race based immigration ban. That chinese people from coming into the us that had a lot to do with economic anxiety because white people thought chinese people were taking their job. So they banned. Tony's from coming into that country that ban expanded to all of asia. You know and then expanded to africa and latin america and only a sliver of northern europeans. Were really allowed into the us. So basically what. It was was segregation on a global scale. So that the us would remain eighty percent white and the twenty percent where like a black and other minorities in nineteen sixty five. There was an act called the heart seller law. This was a law passed by lyndon johnson which actually lifted that immigration ban right. And the reason why he had lifted the ban in the first place was part of it was because of the civil rights movement. It was because the jim crow laws and all of that was embarrassing for American public image but even after they lifted that ban there was still just a quota of asians who could get it and the quota was agents. Who were it was like the smartest of the agents who are engineers doctors so it was it like minority group that is incredibly successful. But that's already successful so they were already. These immigrants were already successful by the time they came into the us but the american myth is that oh wait look at these immigrants. They're successful and then they go to like and then to black and brown people are like. Why can't you be successful. Like eight these asian immigrants and like well. That doctor was already a doctor by the time he came into the us. Yeah and this is just the like. This is the insidiousness of white supremacy. It's not just in your face. Racism it is this cunning show one group has put up against another while the dominant white power structure gets to laugh at all of us. It is it is crafty in sneaky. Yeah yeah it is very sneaky and it's still an it's hard to. I don't know it's hard to breakdown but we're trying. I guess we got to. We have to yeah. You know was a time in your career that you wrote about when you didn't want to write about race and now you really do. What changed. I always actually i. I could say my poetry books all have to do with race. But the way i dealt with it was not autobiographical was more more fantastical. I always used even though i was a poet. I always use sort of these fictional personas. But i think it was when i became a mother. you know. I had my daughter in two thousand fourteen. The was a real pivotal moment. You know where. I thought i am in a position of authority. I'll have to be a role model to my daughter. And when i found out that i was going to have a girl. I was scared. I have to say because i had a. I had a charlton a bad childhood right about some of it. Yeah but some of it at all. But i was like. I don't know. I was very very insecure. You know and it took me a long time to get over my insecurities and i was like i. I don't want my daughter to feel that way. I want her to be confident. I want her to feel comfortable in her skin. And so i was nervous for her. And and i think that was what motivated me to write this book in a way that was actually very personal autobiographical and vulnerable. I've never written a book like that before and it was quite scary for that reason out. I hope so. Thank you cathy. Park hong tells me how her own family history inspired minor feelings plus how her parents see race very differently than she does. This.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Books and Boba
"As someone who has depression anxiety a finding a therapist is already hardened of. And a lot of any like a lot of therapists are white because getting to be Arup is takes a lot of education so. Yeah like the. The Immediate Chong she felt with the korean-american therapist. Chong? Is kind of like this instantaneous bond this connection that you feel with someone someone. and. Just like how she felt after she. And how she felt after the current American therapists rejected her It was funny but also, very sad. Yeah. I can imagine. I can imagine the you know how? I can imagine how like that I can imagine how bad that rejection would have felt because. You know here some someone it's like finding the one and realizing they're just not into you. and. I. Think that personally I can relate like I I I don't have a therapist I can relate to wind the find someone who can't understand you at like at Lisa baseline level in terms of shared experience right now is this something that comes up again again in this book is. Like the fact that. Just. Having A. Thing you can relate to is. Huge in country where we're can be hard to find people with similar experiences. You know she she mentions getting later on when she mentioned all people always want talk about mothers with her right because that's like the one thing that as can relate to having like strict mothers, I guess I. If if I was going to therapy, I don't want to spend half of the session that I'm paying for explaining the cultural nuances of my family and culture. Yeah But you know she mentions like her friend who you know who is Asian at goes to see Jewish therapist that it was actually helpful for them to have someone who has no knowledge of their culture and by dive deep diving into their childhood and through their experience and like the cultural nuances they're able to reflect better and for me I. Don't I don't see a therapist anymore but the therapist I used to see was white and And I feel like I had a similar experience where I didn't spend my first session just talking about what it means to grow up with korean-american strict parents who were emotionally abusive and manipulative, and I didn't have to explain my culture but I when I did have to it, made me understand my parents from A. More nuanced perspective and how that affected my childhood and my trauma. So in a way, a could be helpful to have someone who doesn't share your background, but it also really sucks when you have to explain to white people why you exist in y your trauma comes from generations of of of trauma of war and Immigration Yeah and I thought I thought. Her reaction to to getting rejected and going to the website to like to pretty much rant saying like curry Americans, they shouldn't have become therapists. They all hated like they all have self loathing and it was like, Oh, my God like I'm so glad that review did not get posted on site for some reason it was I was just like Oh my God. It's terrible. Yeah..
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Books and Boba
"Poet and Sas Cathy Park Hong Blends Memoir cultural criticism and history to expose the truth of racial consciousness in America. . Binding these essays together is Hong Theory of minor feelings as daughter of Korean. . Immigrants Cathy Park. . Hong grew up steeped in shame suspicion and melancholy. . She would later understand that these minor feelings occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality. . When you believe the lies, , you told about your own racial identity, , Hong uses her own story as a portal into deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. . This book traces her relationship to the English language to shame and depression to poetry art making and to family and female friendships in a search to both uncover and speak the truth. . So this is our second more of slash essay collection that we've read this year. . If we include <hes> maxine Hong Kingston's will warm air and it's similar a lot of ways but also different right because this one instead of using folktales as the medium it uses more it's more of like a straight up memoir right? ? I don't know if it's a straight up memoir I I think it's accurate to say it's an essay collection of because a lot of her essays aren't. . Obviously, , she does bring up her own personal experiences. . To help supplement her series on <hes>. . Racial consciousness in the Asian American community but a lot of it is pretty scholarly she. . CITES. . A lot of other essays and other artists and <hes> a lot of history is in this book as well. . Yes. So . I don't know like when I when I found this book, , it was in the biography section of the book store and I was like <hes> like I thought this was going to be in the essay <unk> like the sanction but okay. . So it's definitely a book that blends a lot of different John Russia's. . Your I mean when this book came out, , everyone was talking about how like how they are in their fields and really related to it. . A lot of people in our good reeds were pretty excited that we were picking the book up for for this episode <hes> a lot of people had already read it. . People Honor instagram saying that this is the best book of Twenty Twenty and I was like, , okay well. . Clearly, , our club members are you know they? ? They love it. . So hopefully, , I will disappoint them by thinking that this is a bad book and. . Nearly like it wasn't is not a bad book I think for me. . Ask someone who has taken as American. . Studies American literature. . Has Been steeped in the community and the discussion of representation for the last like dozen or so while it was well written <hes> I think a lot of the part people really resonated were parts were Kathy does go into more like scoured discussions of representation of history of like things that you don't WanNa learn in the mainstream history that. . I kind of already knew so I think the part that really drew me or were more interesting to me. . Worthy parts that were more personal with those personal stories by personal. . Do you mean the latter half of the book where she talks About College and Art? ? Making. . Yeah. . Those. . Tests will her family or just personal experiences <hes> because it's interesting because as someone who has worked with Asian American communities across the nation not only in La. . In places like Texas like the New York, , there's this collective unconscious. . That's local to every asian-american community. . That's at a different level of development. Right . like I. . Think for a lot of people have their asian-american awakening in college when they finally at a place where they can find themselves to run it by people that look like them or find other people with their experiences <hes> I think for myself the happen a little bit earlier because. . I grew up in the senior valley <hes> growing up my high school was always at least forty to sixty percent eastern. . <hes>. . So <hes> being as wasn't something that put us apart I think for myself it was more. . <hes>. . Okay. . Like I have no problem being Asian in America. . But my problem is how Asian should I be right? ? Yeah. . Yeah I got it. . You know you know those minor feelings still occur. .
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong Review
"Poet and Sas Cathy Park Hong Blends Memoir cultural criticism and history to expose the truth of racial consciousness in America. Binding these essays together is Hong Theory of minor feelings as daughter of Korean. Immigrants Cathy Park. Hong grew up steeped in shame suspicion and melancholy. She would later understand that these minor feelings occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality. When you believe the lies, you told about your own racial identity, Hong uses her own story as a portal into deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This book traces her relationship to the English language to shame and depression to poetry art making and to family and female friendships in a search to both uncover and speak the truth. So this is our second more of slash essay collection that we've read this year. If we include maxine Hong Kingston's will warm air and it's similar a lot of ways but also different right because this one instead of using folktales as the medium it uses more it's more of like a straight up memoir right? I don't know if it's a straight up memoir I I think it's accurate to say it's an essay collection of because a lot of her essays aren't. Obviously, she does bring up her own personal experiences. To help supplement her series on Racial consciousness in the Asian American community but a lot of it is pretty scholarly she. CITES. A lot of other essays and other artists and a lot of history is in this book as well. Yes. So I don't know like when I when I found this book, it was in the biography section of the book store and I was like like I thought this was going to be in the essay like the sanction but okay. So it's definitely a book that blends a lot of different John Russia's. Your I mean when this book came out, everyone was talking about how like how they are in their fields and really related to it. A lot of people in our good reeds were pretty excited that we were picking the book up for for this episode a lot of people had already read it. People Honor instagram saying that this is the best book of Twenty Twenty and I was like, okay well. Clearly, our club members are you know they? They love it. So hopefully, I will disappoint them by thinking that this is a bad book and. Nearly like it wasn't is not a bad book I think for me. Ask someone who has taken as American. Studies American literature. Has Been steeped in the community and the discussion of representation for the last like dozen or so while it was well written I think a lot of the part people really resonated were parts were Kathy does go into more like scoured discussions of representation of history of like things that you don't WanNa learn in the mainstream history that. I kind of already knew so I think the part that really drew me or were more interesting to me. Worthy parts that were more personal with those personal stories by personal. Do you mean the latter half of the book where she talks About College and Art? Making. Yeah. Those. Tests will her family or just personal experiences because it's interesting because as someone who has worked with Asian American communities across the nation not only in La. In places like Texas like the New York, there's this collective unconscious. That's local to every asian-american community. That's at a different level of development. Right like I. Think for a lot of people have their asian-american awakening in college when they finally at a place where they can find themselves to run it by people that look like them or find other people with their experiences I think for myself the happen a little bit earlier because. I grew up in the senior valley growing up my high school was always at least forty to sixty percent eastern. So being as wasn't something that put us apart I think for myself it was more. Okay. Like I have no problem being Asian in America. But my problem is how Asian should I be right? Yeah. Yeah I got it. You know you know those minor feelings still occur.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on Living Legacy Leadership
"And meaning that. Really one person can never truly understand another complete and perfect way we'd like. However despite everything and maybe through something like magic. Ask people were able to love each other for able to teach one another. And were able to care and found that. So fascinating and a in meet a lot of sense to me and. I thought it was fitting for the title, the Memoir. Absolutely now it I understand as well that as a as a youngster, you actually didn't even speak until you were almost four and a half years old and your parents and the doctors began to think maybe you'd be a mute. do you have any sense about what was going on for you? We also know Albert Einstein a great genius had this. was his art of you becoming yourself, observing the world around you or do you know what was going on for you then? You were so kind to make the connection to achieve. I think you know it was a lot of hardest for my parents. I have a a child with three speech abilities and also. Delayed learning I had a really hard time in school for. For years and years even at a young adult. Such I. Think. And I can't say faculty but I can see that I do have memories that go back before my ability to speak and those memories I really snapshots of US seeing how my grandmother speak Japanese and my parents would speak Korean and the outside world spoke English and I think there might have been some tension about. Which language can or cannot use? My parents wanted me to speak English to survive I wanted to speak Korean to be with them and really the Japanese language was a secret that belonged to my grandmother that's fascinated me. So there was a lot of different clean going on through languages and nine home. That's amazing well, and and in reality I. Think you also have a fourth language that you on covered in those of the unspoken words that you uncovered by introduced to how etry and from your book after you met your Professor Joe. Enjoy. That helped you see seeing things poetry you said that poetry was the tunnel through which I had to pass to forgive my mother and myself for the pain of our separation. It taught me how to look closely how to care and create a space for magnanimity and forgiveness. It brought you back to life in a certain sense. So. In, a is not very much appreciated in modern society at least the Western world. So what's that been like for you since you have this fourth language of poetry sense. Finding poetry, it's really a chance for me to. Learn to speak in a way that I wanted to There's this thing that another author Cathy Park Hong has said in her book Mein feelings and it's set you know those poets with trouble speaking in English came to poetry finally finding a way to speak in English and I really connected with that because. Of Poetry is able to do him in which in just in. English. That English should south is is this limited from doing? that's why I can protrude gave me a space and a fleet on. And Learning magnanimity through poetry was essential because. You, know, my my first teacher taught me that. Your poems you know is you cannot forgive your mother in a poem. than by the end of. Cone. The newly this ah give your mother or the poem forgives us for not being able to give him. Otherwise. It's not a palm. And.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"That is for tomorrow's show which will be talking about schooling in the time of Cova Nineteen and today are talking about the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and I'm joined by Cathy Park Hong. She's author of the book. Minor feelings and Asian American reckoning. George Takei is also with us. Of course the very well known actor and activist and Eric Lee is with us. She's a professor at the University of Minnesota and author of America for Americans a history of xenophobia in the United States. And we do have a couple of callers to Eric. I wanted to ask you a quick question about something that George said. At the very beginning of the show about how quickly in moment moments in history that the ones Americanise can be taken away from them right. Nbc has other relating the story of the internment of him and his family in In a camp during World War. Two is that also part of what we're seeing now is the speed with which people's views perceptions opinions about their fellow. Americans change of when it comes to any kind of crisis absolutely you know. This is one of the ways in which racism and xenophobia works. It doesn't go away. It may go a little bit quiet for some time but the REPENTITI in which we turn against one another Points to the ways in which certain stereotypes narratives and you know. Structural discrimination are already at work in the United States So it's been quite astounding. How very old stereotypes? About China China Chinese people tiny spaces as being You know full of disease but Chinese people eat weird things that they are. They may have They may look very westernized and Americanized but these scratch the surface. And they're still that that old Country and SANITARY HABITS THAT. Lurk beneath You know those are those were stereotypes that I took hold in the United States. The Nineteenth Century And it's been incredibly interesting to see how with the new colonel virus how the global Stereotypes has been reactivated. And how effective? They've been George may ask you as you said you were five win. This happened to your family about what impact? What long-term impacted it have on your parents to have their americanise be so violently removed from them. It was destructive. Look can you just imagine losing everything Every physical possession you. Had you had worked for up to a half point in your life and suddenly have that taken away from you and to be imprisoned and behind barbed wire fences with century. Tars machine guns pointed at us. When we made the night runs to the latrine searchlights. Followed you. I mean that that the imprisonment with all the demonization and the relentless real A year into imprisonment. They come down with a loyalty questionnaire. The trying to get us to say we were loyal to the emperor of Japan. We're Americans we never even thought of loyalty to the emperor so all that But what I like to emphasize that which I did just awhile ago about Asian Americans as a frontline medical troop There in the hospitals but now we are active participants in the American process. We are elected officials we are in the US Senate. We are In the US Congress oh on the state level in the state legislature in our city. Councils we are on a public boards and commissions. We are participants in the American society. We are Americans. I keep underscoring that and and you know that we have to keep underscoring that because they just can't people just can't seem to separate our ancestral land from where we are today and it's an occasion like this that that looms up and starts biting US right back. Well let's go to some of our callers here quickly. Let's go to pat who's calling from Andover Massachusetts Pat. You're on the air. Thank you for doing this program My thirty year old daughter. She's adopted from South Korea and she grew up any Dover and she's just recently you know this last month going out to the stores and been told to go back to China and been sneered at and growled at and It's just very disheartening. That he's this is the she's an American. She grew up here Where tax payers where you know good citizens and she also suffers from a chronic illness. And she's you know worried about the hydrochloric win Shortage and for her to have to like be. You know experience that everyone's on edge and then in addition to that she has to in our own community has to.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on VS
"Ca Love on I'm just very suspicious that both of them have magic powers and and I would like to see them battle it out. Harry Potter Wizard in a try was tournament who wins. I really think it's going to be a draw yeah. See Conrad will have his crystal and we'll have crazy powers and then ANA cupula. She would have like a thousand South Asian women's chanting behind her allowed her to get the stronger she because insist levitating. Oh my God it'll be a dual. The last century wins who loses time time. We all win beautiful. I say listen to this podcast often pointed to the like. Please listen to the last copied. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. It's been such a good conversation for station. could you close us out by reading more thing. Oh okay I guess I could read another really dark poem. She's incredible poet. I'm Marie poems have been translated before by down me. Troy she's been a very foundational feminist poet and she's in her sixties or so now and her she's considered a very important poet and but a collection of poems have never been translated handed before so. I'm really excited that it's coming out here. If you're doing that anxiety we are all familiar with that. come the hush sound of a polling boat over the deep night sky death aims at me from the invisible sky kyw young dreams hide in the grassy thicket leaves of grass sway all at once an Uis sticky sap stars begin into drip a White Cool Sweat Ping death fires at me and fragments of matter flood. My ears dark mouth flutters for awhile. I'll look the moon read as chrome meet shakes.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on VS
"I know just Saints Arkansas Arkansas Chain actually what I would bring back to to myself a poet giving myself permission to be more vulnerable in my poetry and be more transparent current with my autobiographical life which I did not allow myself when I was you know working on dancing revolution. Shen and engine empire and so forth you know another reason why turned to prose was because I you know I started writing when I became a mother and I just didn't have enough off time. I just think when you're a poet not for everyone. Everyone has a different process but romy at least. I always had to be a little bit bored. You know to write poetry in dislike. This excess time and I just don't have it on the essays are easier. If you don't have access time I find essays to be so much more like I need stretches a stretch it. I think I think the maybe the total time I spend just because it's also more words maybe as more but the thought is quicker interesting with pros for me you just because I don't think so much about the particularities of that language and all you have to think about line breaks. The line has gone and once like I know that it's more important for me to get the thought out necessarily been the lyric like take like I think that's why pro so dislike. Sorry for doing that putting the cookie clicky that sounds like you just like banging out and then you can go back to it and delete the whole thing. You know banging out again. I just think it's more forgiving to like the kind of smaller increments of time that you have rather than poetry. It's also easier to kind of concentrate like to escape into the pros. Pros like late at night or you know when my daughter was napping or something it's easier for me to go into a paragraph and just fiddle with a sentence or something whereas it was was harder for me to get into the poetry zone but there are so many different ways of writing poems like Bernie Maher or like Alice Notley or you know these poets who write about being in mothers in this really radical way and the way they wrote what so much based on these time constraints you know like when we think about constraints a lot of is so much about the shape on the page but it's also just you give yourself only thirty minutes to write. It's going to shape the machination in the language and all that the yeah yeah I've had a prompt writing experiment mine of writing a poem where I write one line every hour on the hour over the course of the day I mean I haven't done it yet because I keep forgetting like read a line in the not like go do something for four hours but I know there was another poet who became a mother are it was absurd. She was like she only allowed herself to write three words today because they've just requires eleven actionable goal yeah. I know I know I know that is slow. Yeah I love hearing about how motherhood warps riders. I was just watching the Tony Moore's documentary and she talks. It's about why I had to write it for him because it was only telling my sons were sleep is like be getting up in the morning. Do I just think it's really like Writing Hulu. ooh I can't ride. I don't have any kids. Watch me. Try to right yeah much more efficient with your time. Though I still don't understand how Tony Morrison was able to write those incredible novels those characters with time constraints that she had it wasn't like she was writing like three words you know reading beautiful novel after Beautiful Earth Shattering. You know there's a quote from you that we read earlier. I don't remember where it was from. You said podic practice as ritual for social experimentation your Yahoo Addict. I practiced for social as visual for experimenting on a social level. I think I know what you're talking yeah. First of all was I mean I know there are other kinds of writing like just essay also feel like ritual. It's very painful one very painful ritual troll but of course I mean anything's ritual I. I think that what I was trying to say I was so hung over when that interview so what else sober figure out what I said Ed when I was hung over maybe I was thinking of poets like see Conrad and social practice poets. poetry is not this consolotary activity where you're just you know pulling your hair out. It can very much be something that can happen. In the public I was talking about constraints right and how we see constraint so much as a shape on the page but it could also be and this is what Zia Conrad does right with his poetry where he thinks of a ritual a lot of them are absurd like what is it like he was in Asheville and he was blowing bubbles and there are our kids who are coming up and trying to pop the bubbles and the parents early who and thinking that's very cute and then he's like these are homosexual old and once you touch you'll become gay and beautiful or whatever and then the parents freak out like Oh and then he would write poems on. Yes right my day. Stan that right well my I think my favorite ritual of see as work was going to all of his favourite escalators later in Philadelphia riding up and down with a picture of himself going up to strangers asking have you seen this woman and just like recording their experience which is just ridiculous to me. Just walk around with a Selfie. Excuse me it's performance art works savard in it of itself and so it's like I guess what maybe what I was talking about was like how the actual process of writing a poem can be also part of the poem. idea of the poem is being expanding all the time right and this is actually what spoken word poetry was already off the page age and it's like what is the pages some kind of social engagement whether it's performance art like what. Ca Conrad is doing or I think Brent Arman when Dinger was doing some of this or if it some kind of political act you know or you could this could be the documentary poets or actually would nuke appeal is doing is dealing with vertical interrogation Gatien strangers. Have you guys read that you know where she goes out an interview. South Asian women and then she writes poems about that. It's like sort of this engagement it with other people or this is actually an assignment and prompt that I gave my students at rutgers which was palm is social engagement imbedding yourself in some kind of community he and having some kind of ritual or whatever and writing poems from that writing collaborative poem and so forth so i. I think that's what I was talking about. maybe. I don't now owned by wave away yeah because I think the challenge is for me. The foundational question of what a poet is or rear invites us back to that route. I think poets we sort we do two things where you they're messing with imagination and invention or we're talking about poetry of witness. A noticing social engagement does is it challenges us to re-interrogate the way we witnessed right. My job as a poet is to walk around the world. Take notes and like run back and tell y'all this is what it's like to be human with rituals as does is it forces you into such a space of not necessarily discomfort. Maybe discomfort is a part of that but Strangeness Have Been Say. How is my notice in different you know after Conrad has covered himself in the dirt of Emily Dickenson. This is a ritual voting the dirt he took dirt from Emily. Dickinson's house didn't shower for three days and uncovered himself in it and then I forget what the last part of the ritual is then he goes somewhere. Does something sure you can make it to a- poem about Dirt Emily Dickenson by the SEC thinking about got it but what happens when you invite yourself in the strangeness. You know I love that. Other poets have done things like that too. It's like witness gets thrown around a lot in poetry trian. It's like okay you write about a tragic event man that has affected many many lives on code his witness but it's like well. What does it mean for your body auty to actually be out there in public engaging with these other ottis where you're not just and this is what team in how is saying where you're not just like speaking speaking about them. You're speaking nearby them you know and so you're dressing the proximity between their bodies and your body and I think there's something very interesting happening happening. That can happen in that interrogation. You know yeah that's really cool and part of what I think I I always look to you for both select be affirm and also to be challenged as a lot of your thoughts on the landscape of poetry talking before about your phenomenal essay on white descent avangard when you did since you wrote that essay I think the landscape of American poetry is either it was changing or has changed so much since then and you are also yeah thank God now yeah and you also talking Outta that we talk about the pre interviews now. You're talking about the excitement for a lot of young young Asian future as out here doing things. I'm just wondering like well. I mean I I am. I am curious what you said about how the landscape of American poetry three is different from when you it hasn't been that long I mean it does feel like forever ago. Mike so much has happened but when did the essay but actually actually it is a long time those who guys team two thousand fourteen yeah it was time ago like I mean in the man of like literature. The literature five years is not long but no changes yeah no it has. It's because of that essay now I. I don't know I think that essay that essay was kind of like the ether verse from Jay Z and did a lot of the landscape had to talk with. It says thanks but I guess yes a how do you feel like things have changed in the last five years well. I really I don't. I think it's because of that. I think it was weird. It was coming in at a time where things were just coming to ahead you know so there is a ferguson was happening. you know it was black lives matter and you know and I think cloudier and Keaton Ob- citizen was also very pivotal and then it just kept shaking and I think it's a fantastic time for poetry. I think the most interesting work and I'm biased Kazama poet. is happening in poetry agreed in terms of the inclusiveness stories of voices experimentation the way and it's really I mean I've been saying this for the last few years that what we're seeing here is this kind of renaissance in poetry and you know we were also talking about how poetry someone someone was saying poetry's dead. You know you can't say that now. No one can say that. No one can say that if someone said poachers dad were like an op Ed in Atlantic about poetry being dead the you've had your head stuck in which in the ground like you know..
"cathy park hong" Discussed on VS
"Maybe what I'm trying to do is have them be aware that they are stuck in the first place you know because a lot of people are not aware that their stock going you know and then maybe that is a process towards being unstuck. I think you're right. I think you're talking about changing our view from triumph ramp within the system to a triumph over. You're talking about toppling yeses them really right. Let us all triumph against motherfucker as opposed to excelling rang in the the system or toppling rather than topping yeah yeah okay metaphor the system to be toppled talk. We'll say this Mansoni yeah. I bet you're tools can't dismantle my house Alga. We talk about the form of the essay and one that's opening. I mean I mean you are an sea. As you have been writing I pride in I've written a few but they're very different from the ones that I've written because they're much more personal and that's why I feel very uncomfortable about coming out. I'm not I never an autobiographical poet. I've always shied away from it. I was much more Mike. I always like using persona I'm more about inventing cities and characters languages and all of that and and in fact book started out as poetry. Really yeah yeah and I was like really inspired by this one playwright. Do you know young Jean Lee. You have to check her out. She's amazing but she has his masochistic kissed egg. Prompt where she's like before. She writes a play. She thinks what's the worst thing I could write a play about shoe and then she writes a play uh-huh oh I love now now and so her plays are just really angry satirical really really funny yeah really uncomfortable it lays. What kind of things are they about then well. Her first play was like the worst thing I can write a play about is about Asian American identity because it's so expected that she would write about her Asian American identity thirty and because of that she's resisted it and she's like well okay. She wrote the most fucked up play about it. You know I it was just hilarious. WHO's really fucked up and and then she wrote a play? I don't think she'd be able to do this now. This is like another subject. What is the worst thing that I could write a play about and and that play was about blackness. Oh well yeah so. She wrote a play about blackness. It was called a shipment. How she made it work was that she wasn't the one writing it? She collaborated with Oliver Black Actors so oh she had a list of question to ask them. Like what are you always stereotype. Das- What are you always cast as Ian just like just different you know they worship just processed everything and then she wrote is very satiric play that was very much collaboration between her black actors and her so she was able to kind of skirt around of thorny issues issues of appropriation because it was a clever process and I would say actually right now. It's probably is still is the worst thing that anyone can write right anything about right like right home out. If you're not black is right about blackness right or if you're white writes something about Asian or something like that too right from the other Asian the other racial position because it's become so fraught but I love people can do with though like when i read a little life I was is fucked up because I was like cool. Is this heterosexual Asian woman who knows my black gay life good. I was texting all my gay a friend. Were all reading the book at the same time. Like how does she know us. You did uh-huh and it is yeah. It's gotten around to reading. 'em little scared of its the emotional workout. I had to put it. It took me six months to read it. I read it very fast is with very big breaks between me going. I can't continue on for a little bit uh-huh. Put this away for two months in like go to therapy. Come back to it. It takes a particular kind of artists. I think to do it where you were you. Don't ever feel like an a within your own experience. Yeah you know I think I think it definitely can be done and there are writers who have done it Hani. I forgot about little lay on yeah yeah she did it and young. Jean Lee data and as well and agent US was always in my poems but I've never directly tackled you know what it it means to be Asian American you know and then so I tried to write about it as poetry and it was supposed to be satirical and it wasn't working and so eventually turned into nonfiction and other reason why it was really working. I couldn't do the autobiographical boy in as thome Saigon use lyric form. It just felt much more natural for me to write it in pro. I hesitate to use the word experimental but I think of you as a poet play. Did you find that same playfulness in the personal now that you sort of showing up fuller in your work. Does it feel free I guess or do you feel free in palms. When you're writing like in persona of I do I and I miss it. I miss playing with language and wallowing in it. I want to go back to that after this book but it was a different experience I mean there was play but I think it was just using a different part of my brain and writing prose. It was really hard hard. It's so hard to get the structure right in terms of linguistic play there in It's not a joycy book of essays. It's not though I write about language play. I don't it's not actually it's actually my most accessible assessable book and tried to write it as clearly as possible. There's still poetic attention audience. Show up to yeah yeah. I think it was hot. It wasn't fun. It was fun parts but I was trying to kind of get to very uncomfortable moments in the book not very fun for me but it's funny. I hope it's also funny. I mean that's where I think that was. What was maybe the playful parts come into? Even though it's autobiographical I still see the autobiographical graphical voice is still kind of persona and it was really important for me that the person that I was portraying in the book is not someone who is too serious I and someone who is not. I'm not trying to be likable or I'm not trying to play the victim or something. It was also very important to kind of portray myself in a as has a very flawed person who's made mistakes and have not only been hurt but have also hurt people you know and that was both very hard but it was you could save kind of play in a way to because. I'm not trying to eat this very sincere serious. Good person that you you are expected to be you know when you write about race right right right like hard to write about race outside of the here. Yeah did not now. I want to be that kind of never relic persona you mentioned in that about missing poetry entry as well I wanted to ask about maybe being what it means to be away from poetry because I feel kind of away from poetry right. Now you'll away well. You know I do have a book coming out Alex since I've done that I haven't really ridden home or poem that I was excited like go back and edit time and part of that. You know you mentioned like how we might think about audience differently I do. I've always sort of had a question or a connection to audience on the other side. Maybe that's coming from spoken word from the initial start. It was always about like me and the audience. He ends up there in the audience lately. I've been like well. I've thought about my audience. I don't have anything to tell. Y'All and then I've thought about myself and I was like I don't know if I need poems right now. Like you know there is a I'm always included in my imagine audience but even for me. I've been like no denies. You don't need homes right now or you. Don't there's not that engine proposing me right now which is not a sad and melancholic thing. I'm pretty comeback so love poetry very much but I'm wondering for you. What have you learned in being away from poetry about Kathy poet and is anything that like happy the SAS or Cathy translator is ready to bring back to Kathy to poet. That's a really good question. I have no idea. AMC They neglected Kathy the power what have I what can i. It's like being away from my daughter like acquitting myself itself. The poet as my daughter like what's weird and haven't brought back any toy is like have no toys to bring back my daughter to go to the airport souvenir veneer store and get some last minute gift. Thanks what do I have to bring back to Kathy the poet at school well I was. I was raised on airport souvenir. You appreciate them. Do.
"cathy park hong" Discussed on VS
"I'm house February two thousand twenty. We're so excited to get to talk to Candy Kong at the Asian American Literature Festival at NBC since we are in a hotel hell recording studio. You might hear a little bit of noise in the background. Just go with and go with it. He's GonNa start us off with a poem that she translated it. I am going to read a poem poem by soon judge. It's called a self portrait and her collection of poems will be published by action bucks in the spring. I am no one no one's follower nor anyone's friend. I'm the daughter of darkness dreaming among weeds bog or a body possessed by intimation other. I am darkness since the morning of the old. When adamant e rose from grass I have been the long bodies sorrow children sing like birds and bloom like flowers and the shining street in in sunlight there is shining people with heavenly minds but I cannot taste their mild wine with my forked tongue. I coil myself among the weeds leads or a bog await for our sorrows poison to ferment in my whole body a baby inside a womb yearning for mother's. Love I dream the evil dream of the sun secretly crying towards the sky. Koreans are so weird yeah. They're dying dark. Eh Dreams were invented in Korea. It seems like the stuff of dreams some wild shit. Maybe I'll just spread it across the rest of the people were like. What's this weird thing that I keep seeing when I'm asleep? Korean lives twisted Thank you to your twisted Ken Cathy Park Hong. We are so excited to have you here in the studio. I'm what is moving you these days. My mother stayed in my apartment for the last two weeks which was a lovely frustrating experiece. It's very frustrating. She refused to ever leave the apartment. You know it was the first time that we were able to really open up to each other and that was actually really nice that happened. Some of our conversations. Were moving to me. I just finished my book and I was just talk. Thank you and I write a little bit. What about those spot. You know how they opened up a Japanese internment camp in Oklahoma to fill up with Latin American American children and there have been these protesters their Japanese American internment survivors also relatives Ebbs and japanese-american activists and they've been protesting it every day and then this one person believe his name was Tom Ikeda he said and we have to be there for vulnerable communities that Japanese Americans didn't have in nineteen forty two and I thought that was very waving Living Act Park after protests the comeback in protest space that you also kind of caught in a way I know totally yeah I mean I think you bet like that has been such a moving thing to see all the activism from japanese-american folks and from from jewish-american invokes the never again that's now it gets me very emotional yeah but one of the things you mentioned is the turned in a draft the final draft yes. It's the edited draft now so called Standup for no I changed its title. I didn't want anyone to think it was about stand up comedy. They have I do write about stand up comedy but I call it something else. I'm calling it minor feelings subtitle in Asian American reckoning I mean I know that there will be a long period of time. What were you'll have to talk about the book over and over again you know. I don't know if you WANNA get started earthy the-in telling us about what sort of this in it and what are what are you. Maybe we'll start with the question of like why is it called minor feeling. It's a good question i. It's actually kind had this theory that I talk about in one of the essays. That's actually called stand up. The book is about you know on the most superficial official level it's about kind of the inner life and politics of the agent American condition and I think you know there's been a proliferation of books that have come out. Nonfiction books have come out about race but weirdly enough. There has been very few on the Asian market condition and also I guess like more book my because more like memoir combined with cultural criticism. It was really hard because it's such a disparate identity when is Asian American Identity Eddie. What are we talking about South Asia and Southeast Asian East Asian talking about queer straight. Are we talking about wealthy working class. They're so many different friend experiences coming into it and so easy to kind of make this over determine definition based on my own experiences as someone who's Sis Straight Female Mel East Asian and so forth. I didn't feel like I had quite if authority to write about it but I felt like in a way I had to and one thing that I'm really trying to talk about and I think goes also very much influenced by writers like France phenomenon and say Sediba Hartman and so forth just mortgages also just a psychological condition of being Asian in this country and I think a lot of it is also. I don't think it's necessarily Asian. I think it's also racialist or anyone who comes from his marginal position and it's this idea in American narratives. So much of the racial is experience is about struggle and overcoming. It's about self-determination. It's about without individual triumph and it's always been directed in a way where you overcome it the major chain resolution at the end like the American dream of assimilation yet. It's like the American like at the end of the bucky found belonging my idea of minor feelings is actually what are the feelings that you you have where it's not about overcoming the racism but the racist structural system that keeps the individual in place what are the feelings of that stuck -ness of being trapped making sound depressing but it's also very funny. It's like Melancholia suspicion or shame. There's a lot of shame or all of that. It's an it's also kind of. I think this is particular to Asian Americans. Were how you really feel as gaslight it all the time by. I you know this American idea of the model minority. You know where people are like. Oh you're so successful or when you feel like you're a failure like in two thousand fifteen nicholas was Christopher op ED talking about how Asian Americans have an economic advantage because of their nuclear family values and so forth and you hear you're that kind of narrative all the time which actually gas lights how fucked up Asian families. Are you know so. It's what maybe maybe feels like poverty from the inside Yeah Yeah. I tried to write about sort of all minor feelings that you feel that I felt personally growing up in this country okay and what's happening now and talk a lot about poetry and art making in friendship and all of that as as well. It's totally fascinating fascinating and like super important and hard like for us to be able to engage with things that are not overcoming the obstacle but let the like theory of how to survive when you're stuck in America League no matter what you do seems like really important. I was talking talking to with my partner Cameron about the specific election related to like the handmaid's tale and how like versus season was so much about just like the experience agreeance of having no choice but to be subjugated and like trying to like figure out minor ways to rebel minor to survive and land and like that that was what was so interesting interesting about an interesting about the book and then the later seasons so many of the episodes end like like win the battle or something and how that's like more satisfying but like maybe Abiola interesting. I guess it makes me wonder the way that we're trained to want like the triumph at the end. was that a challenge for you. In the writing of of the spark denied try try yeah. I think it's easy for me because it's not a novel collection essays but it's also I wanted to be like a seamless reads reads so it's interlinked and I mean I don't talk about triumph for per se but the importance of being awake it to struggle. There's this quote by this conceptual artist. Lorraine A- grady who said in the future white supremacy Z. will no longer need white people when I heard that in the audience I mean it doesn't need white you know I think out of all minorities as Asians are the ones who are quote unquote next in line to be white. What does that mean yeah. Why have we been in this sort of conditional position for so so long. And what has that done to us psychologically you know I tried to write about it. In a way where I was like we need to kind of break out of this conditional annoy experience you know and point to certain writers and so forth so it's not triumph more say but more awareness and I think there are actually a ton one of writers who can counteract that narrative you know novelists like Paul Beatty or younger Chinese American novelist just like Ling Ma or an so many poets you know from you could say one Coleman to Pico If I mean I mean they're more poets and not to are always subverting that kind of dominant narrative of but I think that's been especially so with Asians. You know because we've had this idea of success applied to us for so long you now. What do you think it is about poetry. Specifically that allows for that work to happen because we don't we're not stuck to one MHM narrative. I mean we I mean. We're just ended so much more freeing. I think to write in poetry. A lot of fiction writers complain about this. I think there's a lot of traditional channel realist narratives that are really amazing but it's like they're still stuck in the nineteenth century. You know where poets Oh. It's especially now we have so many different formal traditions were playing with and we're working promise and also there aren't these distinctions in poetry their way there where is in fiction. You know where there's a distinction between nonfiction and fiction. You know there's no like sort of like this is autobiographical poetry or this is fictional poetry. Watch everything everything is just sort of blurs because of that. I think we tend to kind of walk dominant narratives more so I'm wondering because we were talking talking about are we were just talking about what it means to not head towards triumph and I think for me awesome years we're talking about with Asian. Americans and I feel it in the Black American story that I know two of like trying to always move towards if not triumph trying to always moving towards Americanised or whatever's on the other side of hyphen if our goal is not to like sort of be ushering Ourself Torch Triumph Pretoria American is toward the Whiteness really where are we directing ourselves and I heard you mention trying to point people towards awareness but may because I like the metaphor you used about being stuck in something instead of like a train of America being stuck in that's. What else are we trying to get people stuck in? If not this messy American tradition. Where do we want people to be sticky with. I WANNA revolution but that I know that's like a triumphant but it's like that's what regard for the pie the Sky I would like you know. I just think that we can't go by these old structural capitalist racial. What have you anymore and you know I'm just kind of trying to go at it from my perspective and I'm like you know you guys probably think very differently apprently but when I was a younger poet tried not to think about audience too much because I thought it was paralyzing and felt like I would be forced to write in a certain way I I only always wanted to sort of ripe for my cell and if by moved people I could move myself but I thought like to really kind of pragmatically addicts think about what my audience was would be. I scared me in paralyze me but but I also thought it would impair my amendment Magid nation. I don't think that way anymore but it's interesting writing a book where I do have an audience you know I knew want to. This is a book more for every one but it's also four. I would like Asians to read it. Those are people I can reach you know I think that's also so much part of what racialist consciousness is is also these contradictions and you have to allow these contradictions where I talk about how I'm very much exasperated led by the narrative of overcoming but I also feel like I have to believe in it at the same time you know and I just have to feel comfortable with that contradiction interdiction..
"cathy park hong" Discussed on VS
"She's the Duchess of Insomnia branch choice and they're the high priest of the booty calls and that Smith you're listening versus the podcasts or poets confront the ideas. I got brought to you by the Poetry Foundation and Post loudness k possible brandy how you doing. I'm doing great vine Do me ban on my friends in college. WHO said I spoke didn't Espanol the whole time we live when we studied abroad. They were like your accent is awesome. It's okay. It's okay good. You know I'm like amazing grace. I was lost but now I'm yeah yeah. I mean important to take an l. once in a while yeah it's been a season of els. Actually it's I have a good I mean I feel like I had a low season for a little bit at the early part of this summer and I think it was a good and necessary low point select sort of lose myself in order to like actually find them that I wanted to find again. You know what do you mean by that. I mean that I got super depressed in a way that I feel like I haven't in a while but difference was like in the bottom of this. I was like well yeah. I don't WanNa die so suicidal thoughts on an option so like what is it that gets me out of this and it was a lot of like you know really saying like okay like if I feel too heavy to lift myself out of this. Would I need to leave behind in order to climb back up and I think it's been part of Saturn's return turning thirty and all this other kinda stuff to be like there are things as that you have been meaning to shed that she's still holding onto for so long and so there. Are these things that maybe you've you upon on his wins or at a certain point they were medicine. They were helpful which needs to lose it. You need to leave him behind and continue on towards a if not an actual victory towards a actual actual explain of stability examining in a real way my relationship to sobriety leaving behind a lot of like ego things that I have going on and you know and like part of that tuition. I feel a lot of anxiety about my next book coming out because my last book did so well and I'm like very nervous but also kind of excited I guess about the impending L. Maybe I want to l like with this next one wow you know it felt like not myself like a lot of the world and even the way like certain folks. Were talking to me. It was like oh he does win win win win win and I'm just like yeah but like losing also good you know losing reminds us who we are grateful for the Times that I've lost the you know whether material or not yes success is great heaton but not necessarily the best teacher moments might it makes you believe sometimes the lie of yourself to write and like buys you into that American lie that you've done it that your success is like this thing that your community celebrates actually really like. Sometimes you need to L. Somebody else can get a win. and that's you know and sometimes you need a l just to make you realize that like winning was never it you now now forget. It was never the point of the work. You're doing or the life that you were living and so here's an L. Remember that your human NB well with that for sure but I don't know you know I don't know I'm GonNa the rest of this for the therapist but later for later you know yeah we'll go. Get some chicken wings and talk about some els feeling some els or well okay so I think that by the time I'm this podcast comes out. It will be announced. I mean that I won a Russillo from the poetry foundation which is really moving to me and really like emotionally overwhelming honestly for a lot of different reasons but I think one of them is that ahead like a few years early in my poetry career until early in but whatever where I was nominated for a finalist and then didn't get it. I was like okay cool. Then was a finalist and like okay. Maybe this time then didn't get it. I was like okay cool and then I wasn't a finalist them and then I wasn't a finalist and then I wasn't you know and so it seemed as though oh I had been on a trajectory to some sort of like success and then something had fallen off if fucked with my head. It's hard it's it's I I mean we want to be really real with it because a lot of folks that were community with like had gotten so I can imagine it's like well what is different and like I was so excited for everybody but who got it but it was still like a strange thing but I also have been realizing recently that like I was really different writer at that point and and if I had just gotten everything then I don't know if I would have had to really interrogate my work and say what am I doing and what do I really want to to my Mo- Dri. What do I want to stick to outside of the idea of whether or not it'll bring me success and I think asking that hard question. I don't want to say that the lead me to like who knows what lead somebody to get an award but I think it at least pushed me to be a better writer scores so I don't know it's weird. It's really talk about once unsuccess- in in the context of a price but I think it's it all comes back to struggle without like the promise of triumph. Am for the ultimate teacher about ourselves about like where we are struggling in about like the project project of America and that's something that we got a chance to talk to our guest today Cathy Park Hong about. I'm really excited to get into this.