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may, 2024

09maythuFeaturedThe Lengest Neoi: Poetry Reading & Book Signing (Stephanie Choi + Friends)7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Event Type :Book Presentation

Event Details

Come for an evening of poetry that ponders ideas around language, bodies (human bodies, geographic bodies, even fruiting bodies!), and self-definition. Stephanie Choi‘s debut collection, The Lengest Neoi (selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the Iowa Poetry Prize) embraces and complicates what it means to err—to wander or go astray; a deviation from a code of behavior or truth; a mistake, flaw, or defect. Beginning with the collection’s title, which combines a colloquial Cantonese phrase (Leng Neoi / “Pretty Girl”) and the English suffix for the superlative degree (—est), these poems wander, deviate, and flow across bodies, geographies, and languages.

The event will also feature local poets Tarfia Faizullah, Katie Condon, and Samyak Shertok!

About the Author:

Stephanie Choi’s poems appear in Copper Nickel, Blackbird, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and the University of Utah. She is currently the poet-in-residence at Sewanee: The University of the South. Her debut collection, The Lengest Neoi, was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the 2023 Iowa Poetry Prize and will be published by the University of Iowa Press in 2024. Find her at xostephchoi.com.

About the book:

“The Lengest Neoi is a shock to the senses: reminding readers that to write and live through / amid/ between languages is to make new combinations of reality at every turn and that it is a chance to leave the ordinary dimensions of poetics / experience in the dust. Tech fails disconnect a grandmother from her granddaughter, and language play reveals a dramatic history of a family name. Poet Stephanie Choi, having connected body and mind through time and generations, mother tongues and lost lineages, can also make prismatic, melodic, gorgeous stories in emails, crossword puzzles, text chains, lists, and laments. This poet is wily, radical, fluidly ingenious with words, image, emotion. She has to be: there are so many ways to erase Asian American life / perspective / creations, to knock down each individual granddaughter, erase each artist. This poet reinscribes all with nuanced brilliance, photographic sensory memory, and fierce love. She must attend to what needs attention: fix the spine, fix the teeth, speech therapy to fix the impediment. The poet emerges with a voice that has no interest in being fixed: This poet can see from the perspective of her lineage/languages, can see much farther into the past, throw her voice far into the future.”—Brenda Shaughnessy, Judge, Iowa Poetry Prize

“This is an ambitious debut that brings together issues of language loss through assimilation and acculturation, the connection between race and disability, and issues of transcultural Asian and Asian American identity and representation. In a nation where the Asian individual is not always seen as a separate identity but a metonym for a larger nation and community, how does the second-generation Chinese American distinguish herself as a person with agency and particularity, even as she respects that her condition has been shaped by and fundamentally connected to larger historical forces? Likewise, how might a particular physical disability, such as a speech impediment, intersect with socially imagined and reinforced disabilities, such as racial or sexual difference? Formally playful, intellectually rich, Choi’s poems deftly explore these and other issues in devastating but also imaginatively playful forms that reveal the many identities a hyphenated self must inhabit and traverse.”—Paisley Rekdal, Author of Nightingale & West: A Translation (winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award)

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Time

(Thursday) 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location

The Wild Detectives

314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas

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